The Good Citizen – Anahera Rawiri

On the latest episode of The Good Citizen podcast, Anahera Rawiri talks to Jeremy Hansen about the unique Māori solutions Auckland’s housing crisis.

New Zealand’s housing crisis is a systemic failure on so many fronts: a rapidly growing population, insane house prices, a drastic shortage of quality homes, a volatile renting market, tight lending restrictions, no capital gains tax and so much more. 

All of it is interdependent and complicated, which is partly why, at a national level, it’s been put in the too-hard basket for too long. But in Auckland, one hapū has been tackling these obstacles – financial, structural, psychological – in innovative ways with remarkable results. It’s been hard, painstaking work at a relatively small scale, but if offers lessons that could be applied across the country – and shows that our housing problems, when tackled one by one, may not be as intractable as we think. 

Up on the papakāinga at Ōrākei, 30 new warm, dry and generous terrace homes are testament to the determination of the members of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to begin to deal with the housing crisis in their own way. 

“There’s so much pressure on the housing market that people are looking for different ways of doing things,” says Anahera Rawiri, who works for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s development arm. “We knew we had to build some houses, and it was good for us to do that. [But] the only way we could get around some of these barriers was to fund it ourselves.”

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