Māori architecture: A response to colonisation
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Citation:Ratana, M. (2021) Māori architecture: A response to colonisation. Asylum, 2021, 128-133.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5516
For generations, Māori have disputed colonisation and the impact it has had on Indigenous peoples. As settlers acquired more land, Māori realised they were losing power over decision making in Aotearoa and began to create their own communities, religions and even a monarchy, in an attempt to retain tino rangatiratanga, or soveriegnty. Māori leaders wanted to send a clear message to the settler state that they weren’t prepared to give everything up and assimilate into the Pākehā world. Architecture became a mechanism for resistance. Buildings, whether they be temporary or permanent structures, portray a sense of belonging and human occupation, and therefore became a meaningful way to create presence during conflict. This paper attempts to give an insight into the impact Māori architecture has had politically, focusing particularly on two buildings: Hiona, built in the early twentieth century, and Tapu Te Ranga, which began construction in the 1970s. Both buildings were built by Māori leaders who saw how their people were struggling under Crown rule and wanted to create a place of solitude and acceptance for Māori. They created unique pieces of architecture that were not only refuges, but symbols of autonomy. These buildings have become well-known architecturally and politically, and have had a lasting impact on generations of Māori and non- Māori.