I took this photo at Vailele Village, Samoa, when I visited and stayed there in 1973. It was a friend's home. The kids are in the malae (marae)...
The purpose of my research project is to consider the matter of housing for Pacific Island people in Auckland, with reference to the Tamaki project.
This photo shows a house being built at Vailele. The tall guy is my friend's father. He was the matai of the village. Mr Taufaga.
I have finished the research report and felt it was useful to share. Right now I am working with another student to produce some designs to implement the research...
Here's a mate playing pool in one of the common areas of the village.
The project got me thinking. It's all about how urban life can be designed around another culture. We assume that the European idea is the one that everone will like.
Everywhere you go on Samoa, the village has a malae, an open area for all sorts of activities. Like volleyball.
Anyway. Enough introduction. I have quoted here just the conclusion of the research project. At the end of this blog entry you can see a link to download the whole research report:
So, that's the conclusion. I recommend that you download the whole thing. Makes interesting reading: http://www.joelcayford.com/JoelCayford724ResearchPaper.pdf
"...Of the 200,000 Pacific Island people living in Auckland, about 30% live in state housing provided by Housing New Zealand. Pacific Islanders account for 50% of the population of the South Auckland – Tamaki suburbs of Point England, and Glen Innes East and West, many of whom occupy state houses in areas which are targetted for redevelopment.
This research has considered the challenge of housing South Auckland Pacific Island communities, and has arrived at various conclusions.
Firstly, because Pacific Islanders have the lowest rate of home ownership of ethnic populations recorded in the NZ census (22% compared to the national average of 53% (NZ Census, 2006)), and noting that this follows a drop of 8% points in home owndership over the last 10 years, it is highly likely that demand for State Housing by Pacific Island families will continue, if not increase, in future. The current impediments to home ownership of low incomes and job security are unlikely to improve quickly given the current economic climate.
The present research notes that previous policies of pepper-potting and heterogeneous integration for Pacific Island peoples have not been successful, and notes the growing evolution of homogeneous Pacific Island communities and neighbourhoods. We therefore conclude that not only should provision be made to house Pacific Island families in state housing into the foreseeable future, we also conclude that every effort should be made to ensure the establishment of homogeneous Pacific Island communities and neighbourhoods in such housing.
The theoretical basis for this recommendation is the environment-behaviour research carried out by Amos Rapoport into urban settlements. His findings are in many ways a cultural generalisation of the Western world view of the New Urbanists. We find that the approach of the New Urbanists, while there is much to recommend it, was not born out of an understanding or appreciation of Pacific Island culture and settlement patterns.
The core findings of this research are drawn from indigenous planning research (including the findings of three University of Auckland research theses by Tongans) and an analysis of images of Pacific Island settlement patterns over the past forty years. This research demonstrates the significance to Pacific Island culture and peoples of the malae (akin to the Maori marae); ceremonial activities involving the extended family which place specific demands on buildings; and the importance of shared communal space around homes for social activities. All of these are critical components of Pacific Island culture which are given effect and enabled by the design and layout of Pacific Island urban settings.
Literature research and an analysis of images of Pacific Island homes in the Maybury Block of Point England, Tamaki – South Auckland, have enabled the identification of patterns of adaptation, where aspects of Pacific Island culture have been introduced into South Auckland, by the creative and determined efforts of Pacific Island locals. These include the use of garage buildings for ceremonial related activities plus additional accommodation on privately owned sites, and caravans, façade decoration and lean-to structures on state housing sites. We also noted the proud placement of a Tongan church in the middle of the Maybury Block.
In conclusion, it is our view that Housing New Zealand has a social and cultural duty to properly understand the role that Pacific Island vernacular urban design has in shaping the behaviour and education of Pacific Island people, in order to design and build the most appropriate urban landscapes for Pacific Islanders in Auckland...."