Airbnb likely cause of high rents in Queenstown - researcher | A life together | Best places to live in NZ: Livelihood vs liveability | Better places to live: community and housing | Building more houses does not make them affordable | Building solutions for changing needs | Child’s play: Involving kids in the design of public spaces | Christchurch red zone stories to be told via new app | Designed to disrupt: A digital tool for urban regeneration | Flatting for the over 65s | Gauging the appeal | Giving sunshine a price tag | Goodbye Big City! | Government Minister says elderly housing needs cannot be overlooked | Hobsonville Point high-density development | Home and business: Living in harmony | Housing advocate wants Māori inclusion helping families | How Airbnb is changing our regions | London solution to Kiwi housing crisis | Māori housing experts gather under one roof | Māori solutions to future proof housing | Marae model to support urban homeless touted as possible solution | New designs offer range of options for marae | New research about homeless programme at Te Puea Marae | New Zealand's hidden homes | NZ 'not geared for affordable housing' | Power to the people: Maia Ratana | Queen's birthday: NZ's housing system broken, says researcher | Rigour and Rigour Mortis? Planning, calculative rationality, and forces of stability and change | Simon Wilson on the housing crisis: What governments did wrong | Solving urban homelessness with manaakitanga | Study casts doubt on effectiveness of Special Housing Areas in Tauranga | Study shows Gisborne quality of life average | Tāmaki Makaurau Cultural Landscapes | Te Aranga Design Principles | Te Puea Marae model of manaakitanga 'key' to tackling homelessness crisis | Te Puea homelessness tikanga shared | The call of home for new graduate | Tiny houses | Treaty needs to serve as inspiration for Māori homelessness solutions | Unlocking solutions to the Māori housing crisis through kaupapa Māori research | Urban design can’t come from the top down | What is a social mortgage? | Where do we dance? Planning social spaces in the suburbs | Why waste water? | Work vs Life: How does your town rate?
22 February 2020
What: NZ Herald article (paywalled) by Simon Wilson, featuring research by Kay Saville-Smith
"This is a story of collapse, all told in one remarkable graph.
"The graph was created by Kay Saville-Smith, a social scientist who specialises in housing. Saville-Smith knew there had been a long-term decline in the construction of low-cost housing. The Productivity Commission had already identified it. The purple line on her graph shows it. But she wanted to know why, so she pored through decades of raw data, looking for the cause.
“She found it,” writes Simon Wilson.
23 January 2020
What: Urban Studies article by BBHTC researcher Iain White, University of Waikato
Building Better researcher Iain White from the University of Waikato blogs about the influence of data. He examines the selection, application, and wider effects of ‘calculations’ in urban planning to better understand why, when we say we want urban areas to be more affordable and liveable, and we enjoy a stronger evidence base than ever before, were some of the outcomes deemed poor. The blog includes a link to Iain's recently published paper in the Urban Studies Online Journal.
3 December 2019
What: The SpinOff article by Leonie Hayden, Ātea Editor, featuring research by James Berghan
"It’s a way of living that is often mistaken for either a ‘hippy commune’ or a boarding house, but cohousing is slowly becoming a viable solution to New Zealand’s growing housing needs. It’s also a way of fighting the isolation and loneliness that is harming our collective wellbeing."
The Spinoff's Leonie Hayden interviews Building Better researcher James Berghan about his research on social mortgages and co-housing.
“The social mortgage component was how you can bring in a social element to housing, which means you have a contract with your neighbours and you have to put work into it but you get social benefits as well. It shifts housing from a financial asset to a community asset that everyone has a stake in,” says James.
19 November 2019
What: Real Estate Magazine article featuring research by James Berghan
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand writes about BBHTC research by James Berghan. James examines the different ways the built environment can deliver housing based on the idea of a “social mortgage”.
With the release of New Zealand’s first Wellbeing budget in late May 2019, it’s more obvious than ever that the built environment needs to move towards planning models that deliver social and environmental sustainability.
Deeply invested in the places they live and wanting to ensure their property provides spaces for generations, communities are looking for the option of alternative developments that aren’t subject to the same commercial demands as the open market.
11 November 2019
What: NZ Local Government Magazine article by Ruth Berry
Local councils need more policy options and resources to address the impacts of accommodation sharing platforms. BBHTC Director Ruth Berry details recent research in an article for NZ Local Government Magazine.
Peer-to-peer rental platforms such as Airbnb have opened up a wide variety of affordable options for families and groups wanting self-contained properties.
Globally, Airbnb’s entry to the travel market in 2008 has significantly altered perceptions of what constitutes holiday and business accommodation.
Many Kiwi property owners have benefited from the introduction of this easy peer-to-peer shared property economy.
Yet new evidence from Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge suggests that for long-term residents living in towns that have a high concentration of Airbnbs, there are negative impacts, alongside the benefits for both residents and the region.
17 September 2019
What: Radio Waatea news item with Rau Hoskins - for full radio interview see our podcast page
BBHTC researcher Rau Hoskins talks with Waatea News about the innovative resources for marae looking at housing programmes that were launched at Te Puea Marae in Māngere last week.
These resource were developed over the past two years by researchers funded through the Kainga Tahi, Kainga Rua programme in the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, National Science Challenge.
Rau Hoskins, who led the Te Manaaki o te Marae along with Unitec Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan, says marae started as the centres of kainga, but over the years most have lost their housing apart from a few kaumātua flats.
29 July 2019
What: Article in Gisborne Herald by Andrew Ashton
Reporter Andrew Ashton from the Gisborne Herald examines the implications for Gisborne from Motu's Research for the Building Better Homes, Towns, and Cities National Science Challenge.
At the time of the 2013 census, Gisborne was ranked around the middle of urban areas in New Zealand for quality of life and quality of business. 'Natural’ factors such as climate have a positive impact on quality of life of places, but the study shows that Gisborne has room to improve in the quality of life and quality of business on offer to residents and prospective newbies.
Andrew interviews Motu's research programme leader Arthur Grimes to get his views on where to from here for Gisborne.
4 July 2019
What: Article in Talk Wellington by Kōrero Wellington
Lead researcher Dr Rebecca Kiddle is mentioned in this Talk Wellington article for her research "investigating (amongst other things) the extent to which modern Ao-NZ urban form systemically prioritises private space in our suburbs, cities and towns. Turns out we do this a lot, and to the detriment of the public realm and common spaces."
The article says, "This is bad news for us collectively because it’s common and public spaces, third places that let us connect with other humans outside our household, 'bumping into' spaces where you can have regular, low-stakes interactions with people. 'Bumping into' spaces in modern towns let us quietly expand our 'circle of empathy' to others beyond those we select to invite to our private space (who are inevitably A Lot Like Me)."
22 June 2019
What: Article in TEU's Hau Taki Haere newsletter by Jessica Hutchings
At the Shift Aotearoa conference earlier this month, Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua kaupapa Māori research evidence was presented that showed that since 1991, and the disestablishment of state support for housing in Aotearoa, there has been a rapid decline in Māori home ownership. The research concluded that if the government does not make structural interventions at the economic level, Māori will be almost entirely a population of renters by 2061.
Dr Jessica Hutchings (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Huirapa, Gujarati), Tumu Whakarae for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamahorahora, shares her kōrero in the Tertiary Education Union newsletter, Hau Taki Haere, on the importance of Kaupapa Māori research paradigms and methodologies in unlocking solutions to the Māori housing crisis. Photo: Louise Thomas.
7 June 2019
What: Article in RNZ by Māni Dunlop, Te Manu Korihi Reporter
The Shift Aotearoa conference in Wellington saw people from across the housing sector get together for three days to discuss the current and future state of housing in New Zealand.
Mother, Tammy, addressed the large crowd at the conference, telling a story that unfortunately is all too familiar to many whānau in Aotearoa.
"Our home was cold, it was damp, we had no curtains or flooring. One of my children who was 6 years old, he also was not well and had attended hospital clinics 317 times. I looked at my children and I was sad, I was working part time and I promised I would not move them until we owned our own home, we had many houses but we didn't have a home."
Mother, Tammy, address the Shift Aotearoa conference. Photo: Louise Thomas.
5 June 2019
What: TVNZ's Te Karere feature item with reporting by Eruera Rerekura
The vexed issue of Māori homelessness, could a treaty-based housing solution provide the answer? Reporting on the SHIFT Conference, Eruera Rerekura - Te Karere explores this question.
BBHTC's Dr Ella Henry on TVNZ's Te Karere.
5 June 2019
What: TV interview and article at Te Ao Māori News by Tema Hemi
One of the country's top Māori researchers says there is no cohesive communication between government and Māori around sustainable and affordable housing, particularly in urban areas.
It comes as over three hundred researchers have gathered at Wellington's Te Papa Museum to share innovative ideas of how to best tackle housing issues for Māori.
Lawyer and Māori researcher Moana Jackson says, "Māori have the right to have shelter in our own home and this land is our home so ultimately, like in so many things, I think constitutionally, Māori need to be given the authority back to work out how that can best happen."
Lawyer and Māori researcher Moana Jackson on Māori Television.
2 June 2019
What: Article in NZ Local Government Magazine by Rebecca Kiddle
The UK has its pubs. In China, people go out at dusk to exercise in the streets. So, where do Kiwis go to socialise in the suburbs?
Rebecca Kiddle says research shows a significant gap in planning for neutral ‘bumping spaces’. She presented her findings to date at the recent NZPI Conference in Napier.
"Aotearoa New Zealand suburbs are seemingly the spatial underdog of our towns and cities. As part of the research programme Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities I am leading a project called Where Do We Dance? with dance being the metaphor for socialising, making friends and building community. The project asks where, physically, community happens in this country and how might we improve the way we design and plan our built environments to better serve the making of communities."
Where do we dance? A street mural in Naenae, Lower Hutt. Photo: Rebecca Kiddle.
21 May 2019
What: Ideas Feature in Newsroom by Marc Aurel Schnabel and Shuva Chowdhury
Designing an urban environment involves confronting complex physical and social issues such as cultural contexts, economic situations, regulatory systems and personal and community preference.
The design process should take these issues into account, but most of the design methods currently used by urban design professionals are ‘top down’ approaches where the designer, rather than users, dictates the process and outcomes. These top down approaches also don’t leave space to communicate with users or develop multiple design ideas to suit a variety of needs.
One of the obstacles preventing a better relationship between designers and citizens is the lack of tools available to visualise the space through the planning process. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Newsroom.
20 May 2019
What: Column in Architecture Now by Penelope Carroll and Karen Witten
Cities are generally designed for adults and cars. Their built form and safety concerns constrain children’s play and mobility, and a default planning position largely confines children’s use of the public realm to places such as playgrounds, skate parks and sports grounds. If children’s well being is compromised through restricted outdoor play and mobility opportunities, the social sustainability of our towns and cities is in question.
A BBHTC project is researching the best ways to engage children in the co-design of public spaces so that our towns and cities become more child-friendly.
A neighbourhood drawing of the Puhinui Stream regeneration project from one of the Wiri Central School’s student co-designers.
22 April 2019
What: Radio New Zealand article
Radio New Zealand report on a Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities study by Malcolm Campbell, Hamish McNair, Michael Mackay, and Harvey Perkins. Is Airbnb disrupting the regional housing market in New Zealand? If so, how and to what extent? New research suggests there could be a link between areas with high housing costs and a big concentration of Airbnbs.
1 February 2019
What: Build magazine, Issue 170, article by Arthur Grimes
A Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge study has looked at why some places are better to live and do business in. Lessons from this could help other towns and cities improve their economic viability and liveability.
1 February 2019
What: Build magazine, Issue 170, article by Sally Blackwell
New Zealand has struggled to deliver new builds that are accessible to all ages and abilities. Now, a Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities research project is looking at ways to deliver affordable functional housing, particularly for older people.
18 January 2019
What: Column in Architecture Now magazine by Kylie Bailey
Architecture researcher Maia Ratana is on a mission to empower young Māori to take control of their spaces.
"I can remember when buildings first began to fascinate me," Maia Ratana recalls. "I was seven. Ever since, I’ve compulsively picked up pen and paper to map out floor plans."
Currently studying for her Masters in Architecture at Unitec, Maia is one of the three emerging researchers who make up the rangatahi ahu for Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua – the flagship Māori housing research programme for the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge.
14 December 2018
What: RNZ, Nine to Noon
Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua Principal Investigator Jenny Lee-Morgan talks on air about her team's research and why the work being done at Te Puea Memorial Marae is successful at getting people off the streets for good.
Te Puea manaakitanga tangata kaimahi - core team led by Hurimoana Dennis. Photo: The Treehouse Creative.
23 November 2018
What: RNZ, Morning Report, with Conan Young reporting
While plans are being made for the future of Christchurch's red zone, one researcher is keen to ensure the area's past is not forgotten. Radio New Zealand Morning Report interview with Canterbury University's Donald Matheson. Donald is a researcher in Building Better's contestable research project called Understanding Place, and has developed an app that enables people to upload videos of themselves talking about parts of the red zone that are special to them.
23 November 2018
What: Column in Architecture Now magazine by Arthur Grimes
Arthur Grimes, programme leader for the Supporting success in regional settlements research team writes about findings from a recent study his team has completed regarding what individuals and businesses prefer when it comes to locale. It seems that the things that make a place liveable and the things that make a place good for business are at odds. But can we have both?
20 November 2018
What: New Zealand Herald, interactive, by Keith Ng
Sun and surf, universities and hospitals - what makes a town a great place to live and work? A new paper for Building Better, Homes, Towns and Cities by researchers at Motu ranks 130 New Zealand towns and cities by their quality for life and business, from 1973 to 2013. See how your town rates as a place to live and work.
20 November 2018
What: RNZ, Nine to Noon, with Kathryn Ryan
New research reveals what makes our towns and cities good places to live and do business - but we can't always have both. Kathryn Ryan talks to Building Better's Principal Investigator on the Supporting success in regional settlements team, Arthur Grimes.
26 October 2018
What: Column in Architecture Now magazine by Rita Dionisio and Mirjam Schindler
Building Better's Next Generation Information for Better Outcomes researchers Rita Dionisio and Mirjam Schindler discuss the new Envision Scenario Planner (ESP). The ESP is a free, web-based geo-spatial planning tool that uses digital, evidence-based information to assist the exploration of urban regeneration scenarios at a neighbourhood level.
The ESP was nominated as one of three finalists in the Environment and Sustainability category at the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards held at Te Papa in Wellington in October, and it has recently received high praise for the way it embeds sustainability at every level. It was created to help planners and decision-makers assess the impact that different urban regeneration scenarios, building typologies, and open spaces will have on a range of outcomes. These outcomes are based on the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social.
4 October 2018
What: Architecture Now, In practice column by Landscape Architecture Aotearoa with Jacqueline Paul and William Hatton
Te Aranga Māori Design Principles were developed by Māori design professionals as a response to the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol in 2005. Over time the principles have evolved and been adopted by the Auckland Council with the support of Ngā Aho and are being promoted across all council built projects.
20 September 2018
What: RNZ Te Manu Korihi news article
The grass-roots model an Auckland Marae developed to house hundreds of homeless people is being seen as a viable way to deal with urban homelessness. For the last year, Te Puea Marae has worked with the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge on a research project to show why its transitional housing programme has been a success.
Dr Jessica Hutchings at the Te Puea Marae. Photo: RNZ/ John Boynton
19 September 2018
What: NZ Herald article
NZ Herald Māori Affairs reporter, Michael Neilson, takes a look at what make Te Puea Marae special and outlines the Building Better research project into transitional housing.
"A homeless father carried his son on his shoulders from the opposite side of Māngere to Te Puea Marae, because he heard they might have space for them to stay.
"They did, and now they are two of the 332 people Te Puea Marae has helped find homes since it opened its doors to homeless whānau on July 24, 2016, in the midst of Auckland's housing crisis."
Te Puea Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis said they had been successful at helping homeless Māori because they did not judge. Photo: NZ Herald
18 September 2018
What: Coverage on Māori Television
Māori Television's Jessica Tyson covered research around Te Puea Marae and its work to address homelessness that was released at a symposium at the marae on 19 September.
Over the past year, researchers from the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge has been working with the marae to develop the Te Manaaki Tāngata E Rua programme.
The research aims to better understand why Manaaki Tāngata E Rua is so successful at supporting whānau Māori who are homeless using tikanga Māori.
The project is co-led by Unitec Institute of Technology's Rau Hoskins and University of Waikato Associate Professor Jenny-Lee Morgan.
17 September 2018
What: Waatea News article
Te Puea Memorial Marae plans to share what it has learned about tackling urban homelessness.
It is holding a symposium on Wednesday, 19 September with researchers from Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamahorahora - the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge - who have been working with the Mangere-based marae over the past year.
Research co-leaders Rau Hoskins and Jenny-Lee Morgan say having the ability to study what works in Māori communities has given new insights.
20 July 2018
What: Podcast from Indigenous Urbanism - Episode 5
Podcast from Indigenous Urbanism: Jade Kake interviews Building Better Homes, Towns & Cities Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua researcher, Rau Hoskins. "On this episode of Indigenous Urbanism, we travel to Tāmaki Makaurau, our largest city, to look at how Māori designers are working alongside mana whenua to re-shape the city to better reflect their unique identity and culture and to create a distinctive sense of place that benefits us all."
What: New Zealand Geographic article. Issue 152
A great article, outlining the tiny house movement in New Zealand, in the July/August issue of the New Zealand Geographic.
Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge gets a mention for research analysing the property titles registered in Auckland over the past three decades, and the part that covenants can play to restrict smaller, affordable housing at a time when New Zealand desperately needs it.
The figures are still being finalised, but researcher Dr Kay Saville-Smith says it looks like about 55 per cent of Auckland residential titles in 2017 had a covenant - compared with less than 10 per cent in 1980. Very often, those covenants mandate large dwellings, she says.
“The worst I’ve seen is a minimum of 245 square metres. You’ll hear a lot about how affordable housing is affected by planning regulations; that’s a typical public narrative. You don’t hear a lot about the use of covenants - anyone can put them on, but they’re very hard to get rid of.”
17 July 2018
What: Stuff National article
What is the future of housing for our elderly? Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin weighs in on the affordable housing debate. Stuff article which includes reference to a paper written by BBHTC's Dr Kay Saville-Smith and Dr Bev James, as part of a consultation process about the ageing population. The paper highlights how New Zealand's future older population will mostly live in rentals, as home ownership rates have continued to fall over the last 15 years.
Image: Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin.
05 July 2018
What: Nine to Noon Radio NZ interview with Ella Henry
Smaller housing developers are being locked out by bureaucracy costs, and experts say the government must connect people with expertise so affordable housing, particularly for Māori, can be built. Listen to Building Better researcher Ella Henry from the Shaping Places: Future Neighbourhoods team talking Māori affordable housing this week on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme:
Photo: RNZ, Claire Eastham-Farrelly.
14 June 2018
What: Blog post by Scion's Lisa Tovey on the Pure Advantage website
What happens to the water that gurgles down your shower drain? For many people it disappears out of sight and out of mind, but not for civil engineers, town planners or those working in wastewater treatment. They are busy maintaining the intricate infrastructure that takes care of your wastewater so you don’t have to think about it. A blog post from Scion's Lisa Tovey outlines the work of the BBHTC's Novel Wastewater Processing team led by Daniel Gapes at Scion.
4 June 2018
What: The Marlborough Express article
One of Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities lead researchers in the Architecture of Decision Making research programme, Dr Kay Saville-Smith, has been awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours.
31 May 2018
What: North Harbour News article
Shaping Places: Future Neighbourhoods Principal Investigator Errol Haarhoff is interviewed about the impact of high density living on well-being and housing satisfaction at Hobsonville Point.
The suburb is unique in that it's the first of its kind: a greenfield built from scratch and founded on the principle of high density living, says Errol. And it seems to be working well.
28 May 2018
What: Stuff - Business Day article
Dr Kay Saville-Smith from the Building Better Homes, Towns & Cities Architecture of Decision Making research team discusses partitioning homes to provide "new" affordable housing options with Rob Stock of Business Day
Brick houses in Muswell Hill, London, where many houses have been partitioned into individual flats. Image: Royalty-free for non-commercial editorial, by Zoltan Gabor.
28 May 2018
What: Landscape Architecture feature
Jacqueline Paul, from the Building Better Homes, Towns & Cities Shaping Places: Future Neighbourhoods Māori Research team, features in this month's Landscape Architecture Aotearoa. Now that she’s finished Unitec the 24-year-old has just reached out to her local trust up North. Her next 10-year plan is to return to the Takou Bay area (where her father is from and grandparents are buried) to support her whānau plan their papakāinga (housing development on ancestral land) and marae development.
Jackie Paul at Te Ngaere Marae near Matauri Bay in Northland. Photo: Landscape Architecture
18 May 2018
What: North and South magazine article
The feature article of the June 2018 North and South Magazine features the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge, in particular the Supporting Success in Regional Settlements programme. Arthur Grimes, Mike MacKay, Harvey Perkins and Director Ruth Berry are all interviewed for the feature.
Saying goodbye to the city
Would life really be better in a small town? Joanna Wane asks what you should weigh up before you book a one-way ticket to the country.
Making tracks to Wairarapa
With Wellington house prices booming, more people are forging new lives across the Rimutakas. Mike White checks out Featherston on the Wairarapa Line.
2 May 2018
What: Bay of Plenty Times article
Building Better National Science Challenge researcher Dr Bev James has studied the 15 SHAs in the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty districts and questions whether Special Housing Areas are actually providing affordable homes in Tauranga.
An aerial view of Papamoa East, where nine out of 14 Special Housing Areas in Tauranga are located. Photo: Andrew Warner, Bay of Plenty Times
21 March 2018
What: NBR Radio interview with Prof. Laurence Murphy
Professor Laurence Murphy says relying on simply building more houses is not an effective pathway to generating affordable housing as the market is very good at producing market prices. He discusses the challenges of Special Housing Areas with Grant Walker on NBR Radio.
8 March 2018
What: Radio Waatea interview with Dr Jessica Hutchings
Dr Jessica Hutchings, the director Māori on the building better homes national science challenge, spoke with Radio Waatea, she says her team has been looking at how to create culturally fit-for-purpose housing both in the regions and the cities where space is short.
She says housing is more than bedrooms, a roof and a place to put the car. "We talk about a housing shortage. We talk about whānau Māori being life long renters. But also in the Challenge we are really interested in supporting the well being of whānau into houses so it is not just about building houses," Dr Hutchings says.
14 December 2017
What: Nine to Noon Radio NZ interview with Dr Kay Saville-Smith
Dr Kay Saville- Smith was interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme about New Zealand's hidden homes :
To read the report, please download the PDF: ADU Potential: Have we the potential to use our existing stock of homes to create a bigger stock of affordable, fit for purpose homes?
For all queries, please contact Kay Saville-Smith, Centre for Research, Evaluation & Social Assessment (CRESA)