This paper seeks to address the growing desire among Māori to be more active in developing sustainable habitation (papakāinga) within urban environments. Urban design is the practice and process of shaping physical environments in which modern societies and people can live. To understand contemporary papakāinga therefore we should have some in-depth understanding of the role of modern urban design. This paper uses a case study approach and a literature review to identify nine key design principles for Māori sustainable development. It is concluded that Māori need not accept the current trends and styles of urban design. Through improved articulation and incorporation of Māori values, concepts and design principles, Māori can change their living environments.

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