Models of land administration often promote the formalisation of land under multiple ownership to a more individualised, Western style of tenure, such as the British system of land tenure imposed on a communal Māori society. However, the dangers for Māori land under multiple ownership are that Māori values might become diluted or even lost in this transition as social responsibilities become divorced from land rights. Recognising this, planners of some Māori land development projects have sought to reintroduce key communal or socially-based tenure principles to the planning equation. But what are those principles? Are they succeeding? Do some principles produce better outcomes than others? And why might they work in some instances but not others? This paper describes initial work on a project, due to run to the end of 2019, which sets out to identify principles of socially-based tenure which have been used to foster sustainable communities in Māori planning initiatives. Preliminary case studies include a kaumātua housing scheme and an urban papakāinga development, and demonstrate principles such as whanaungatanga (participation and membership) and rangatiratanga (self-determination). By understanding how these complex principles operate and interrelate, and by assessing the degree to which they are perceived to succeed, these cases point to the possibility of creating a measure of social capital potential. This could be used to leverage funding decisions through a system capable of demonstrating marked differences where particular principles are supported, incorporated and invested, and could conceivably produce a distinctive planning model based on social sustainability to inform decision making processes in urban environments and land development projects.
The authors 2018
Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference 2018