The Good Citizen – Jacqueline Paul

On the latest episode of The Good Citizen podcast, Jacqueline Paul talks to Jeremy Hansen about the housing crisis, inequality and why racist stereotyping has got to stop. 

Landscape architect, housing advocate and aspiring local body politician, Jacqueline Paul (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga), isn’t sitting around waiting to be heard. She’s speaking up, and speaking loudly.

She doesn’t want to hear about hope. In fact, she’s over it – so much so that she asks people not to speak of it, as she has heard too many aspirational statements that haven’t been followed up. But this doesn’t mean she is in the depths of despair. Instead, the 25-year-old wants to see less hope and more concrete action. 

Because hope is a luxury in increasingly scarce supply for many of the people she knows – rangatahi Māori from south Auckland especially. Paul grew up and still lives in Papakura and has seen the debilitating effects of what happens when hope starts to dry up. The housing crisis is a prime example. “It’s actually had a huge impact on us,” she says, “where it’s so far out of reach now that we’ve lost that dream and that hope. Some people might say, big deal, just rent. [But] it’s a sense of stability, a place of belonging ... these massive big-picture things can really affect your wellbeing.”

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