Auckland Office/South Restore:

8 Ormiston Road

Otara

Auckland
Phone +64 9 271 3357
 
West/North Restore
 
7 Doris St
 
Henderson
Phone +64 9 836 7519

 


 




About us

Habitat Greater Auckland is the result of a merger between the
three Auckland based affiliates (Franklin, Manukau and Waitakere) in July 2006.
20 years ago in 1993 New Zealand’s first Habitat for Humanity presence,
the Franklin affiliate, built Habitat NZ's first house.







88 families housed so far

Habitat for Humanity Auckland supports families and individuals in housing need from Warkworth to the Bombays.Established in 1993 we are the oldest Habitat affiliate and run our build programmes with a small core staff based in Otara.
We are supported each year by hundreds of volunteers, whose energy and commitment help us build and renovate homes, run our office and help with fundraising events. We run two ReStores at Otara & Henderson, that help provide a vital income to our work. See ReStore section for Details.



Get Involved

We are currently building four homes at Hall Avenue, Mangere, which will be finished this year, as well as our ONE Habitat Build at the Onehunga High School (Onehunga Build)
We also run a home renovation and repair project named A Brush with Kindness. This project supports families struggling to maintain their own homes with affordable loans and a predominantly volunteer labour force.

We require no previous building experience to volunteer on our builds. Our site is run by building supervisor Mike who will always be happy to support you
inlearning new skills and get building.

For further info on any of our work, please contact:
Conrad LaPointe.
Resource Manager
Telephone +64 9 2713358
Mobile +64 272223911
Email conradlp@habitatga.org.nz








There are a number of ways you can get involved with Habitat

  -Volunteer for one of our builds
  -Sponsor a home build or A Brush with Kindness
  -Donate materials and goods to, and shop at our     
   ReStore

  -Be a supporting family for our visiting overseas
   teams    

  -Prepare food our event builds
  -Volunteer to build abroad on a Global village trip









                                                                                                                                        

Sign the Housing Pledge...something you can do!

Posted on: 10 February 2014

Did you know?

Roughly 1 billion people now live in slums (Source: UN-HABITAT).

By 2050, 70% percent of world's population projected to be living in urban areas (UNDESA).

Have your say...

Shelter, along with water and food, is a basic human need and must be met. Speak up for shelter with #HabitatforHumanity. The good news: the UN recognized that secure land and property rights help reduce poverty. But there's more to be done. Add your voice to the call to make adequate housing a priority:

Join the Discussion Forum

Sign the housing pledge!



Haiyan Update...Phillipines

Posted on: 5 December 2013

For the latest slide show see this link...http://www.habitat.org/stories_multimedia/about_us/2013_philippines_slideshow

The way to donate is directly to the Habitat for Humanity Phillipines office (in pesos via your credit card) using the above link.(You will not receive a New Zealand tax deductible receipt).

Archive:

Habitat for Humanity to begin distribution of shelter repair kits
to families affected by Typhoon Haiyan *****

Bangkok, 13th November 2013 – Habitat for Humanity's national office in the Philippines today will begin distribution of 5,000 shelter repair kits* to families affected by Typhoon Haiyan in Bogo city and Bantayan island in Cebu province. In total, Habitat has targeted to distribute 30,000 shelter repair kits and 50,000 clean-up kits* in typhoon-hit areas across the country.

According to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in its latest report, over 6.9 million Filipinos have been affected in 41 provinces. Of these, more than 580,000 people have been displaced. The report added that close to 150,000 houses have been totally or partially damaged and that 1,833 individuals are confirmed dead.

Habitat for Humanity is appealing for funds for its disaster response efforts to assist families and help them rebuild their lives and gain access to decent shelter. Based on funding availability, the longer-term response will follow Habitat's model of assisting affected communities with housing solutions ranging from emergency shelter interventions to permanent home reconstruction.

To donate, please visit give2habitat.org

Since 1988, our national office in the Philippines has played an active role in working with families to build decent, durable and affordable housing. Through a network of project offices in rural and urban areas, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has built and repaired tens of thousands of homes. Habitat has also assisted more than 5,000 families displaced by typhoons, fires and landslides.

*Shelter repair kit includes plywood, lumber, hammer, handsaw, nails, and galvanized iron sheets.

*Clean-up kit includes broom, mop, pail, floor brush and industrial disinfectant cleanser.



Help Protect Samoa Before Cyclones Hit!

Posted on: 23 November 2013

 

 

Dear Reader,

This Cyclone Season, our hearts go out to those dealing with Cyclones in the Pacific. Build hope, with $50 today so families can have greater defence before cyclones hit!

Here is an update on the Cyclone Evan effort to assist with ravaged Samoa and the interim ‘Lean to' project which just finished in mid September. There were 2,000 homes destroyed during Cyclone Evan in 2012, a category 3 cyclone. The Samoa metrological service advise at least two category 3 cyclones may be possible between 12 December and 14 April.

Thankfully, supporters like you have enabled families to get on with life by providing them with basic lean-to shelters that include deep foundations, a corrugated iron roof, gutters and tanks to collect rainwater, bracing and cyclone strapping that will make these shelters cyclone resistant against future cyclones.

In total, a staggering 108 ‘lean to' shelters were built for the most vulnerable of families, so they will be more resilient for the start of cyclone season this Christmas.

Incredibly you have made all of this work possible through the use of just two of our most experienced volunteer leaders working with local Samoan apprentices. Past responses relied on large Kiwi volunteer teams, such as for the 94 houses for victims of the 2009 Samoa tsunami and these teams were successful. In our latest project we built not only the shelters to keep families safe, but built the skills locals need to maintain them.

For this recent disaster response effort, our two volunteers provided valuable logistical support, construction advice, mentoring for local trades-people, passing on skills they will need in the future.

Your ongoing partnership is more important than ever for families devastated by cyclones, not only to give them real certainty about their housing in the months ahead, but in time, to be equipped to support themselves in times of disaster.

This means more preventative measures for these families before the cyclones hit.

In anticipation of vulnerable families needing to be protected from Cyclones, we are asking you to become a partner by donating $50. Your gift will enable our unique approach of harnessing the goodwill of the local volunteers to strengthen the local community. You can be the catalyst to enable steps towards more well placed, cyclone resistant homes for the vulnerable, including for Samoan families to have more housing options and greater resilience in the midst of a storm.

Please protect these families with a donation of $50 by using your credit card, Automatic Payment or Direct Debit. Surprise families in need of housing with a donation today!

I wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Claire Szabo

Chief Executive Officer

Habitat for Humanity NZ

P.S. We appreciate your support through our recent build efforts where Samoan locals helped one another to create cyclone resistant ‘lean to's'. With your support, you can help to bring about longer lasting change for Samoan families facing natural disasters in the future. Please donate now.

Cyclone Evan Disaster Last Christmas


The Latest Habitat News Briefs...

Posted on: 15 November 2013

Habitat gains NZ AID accreditation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade.

Latest 2014 newsletter and pledge about aleviating the world housing shortage.

How you can support the next phase in Samoa's Cyclone Evan Response...

The latest on Tropical Cyclone Ian in Tonga...

The latest on Habitat's work in the Phillipines for Super Typhoon Haiyan...

How you can support our work in 2014 in Christchurch post Earthquake...

We are fundraising to make way for more homes for more families. The Constantino - Futulan Family is putting volunteer hours into their home right now. Let's get another house up by making a donation today!


Haiyan Response Handled By Philippine's Office...

Posted on: 12 November 2013

Dear Friends of Habitat for Humanity

Please support Habitat for Humanity - Philippines' response to Typhoon Hiayan and donate now.

You will have heard through news media about the devastation in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan. Over 9.6 million Filipinos have been affected in 41 provinces. Of these, more than 430,000 are currently housed in evacuation centres. Filipino families need your support with clean up and shelter today.

Our partner agency, Habitat for Humanity - Philippines is now appealing for funds. Your donation will go directly to Habitat in the Philippines to support families with immediate shelter (no New Zealand donation receipt issuable). Please put NZ as the donation code.

Please donate here.

Donation amounts are in Philippine Pesos (PHP) so here are some quick conversions to New Zealand Dollars (NZD):

$20 = 720 Pesos

$100 = 3,600 Pesos

$500 = 18,000 Pesos

Any support you can give will be gratefully received by families in urgent need. Thank you for your generosity.

Claire Szabó

Chief Executive Officer

Habitat for Humanity New Zealand



October 7 - World Habitat Day

Posted on: 7 October 2013

In 1985, the United Nations declared the first Monday in October to be World Habitat Day in recognition of the need for simple and decent shelter for people around the world. Habitat for Humanity New Zealand knows that good housing and good housing policies are the key to creating safe and strong communities and that adequate shelter is a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty. Like for Michelle's family...

It's very hard to get excited about moving with the kids into yet another damp rental property, which may just be worse than the last one. Yet, this was the reality for single mum Michelle and the four children in her care. When the landlord put up the rent, it was time to move and look for what she could afford. Finances and circumstance made Michelle's decisions for her, in search of a house that would be very unlikely to feel anything like home.

Despite the ongoing stress and hardship of poverty, Michelle knew in her heart that her "transient” life of moving every one or two years was not going to be her life story. With a conviction that God had plans, Michelle studied social work, got a job and applied to Habitat for a helping hand.

With an ability to make affordable payments and a fantastic partnership attitude, Michelle's home has had a transformational effect. "It was amazing. It was the first time I'd really ever had a sense of place”, Michelle says, "Most of my life I had struggled with a sense of place and belonging. We finally had a home of our own!”

Now, during our Annual Appeal we need your support to build sustainable solutions to housing problems. Your donations will help make this possible.

Follow this link, if you want tomakea family like Michelle'slife change for good...

https://secure.hostnz.com/habitat/secure.php/pi_pageid/14

Michelle with her four kids and grandchild... enjoying the moment!


Global Village Update

Posted on: 19 September 2013

Did you know that little New Zealand is well known for batting well above its weight in volunteer numbers? Of the 200 international volunteers building houses recently in Vietnam, 72 were Kiwis! This squadron of house builders built 21 brick houses in 4.5 days. An entire community living in sub-standard accommodation were housed in new dwellings within the working week. These 21 families are now secure and have a positive future to look forward to.

So what is it that makes Kiwis lead the charge in volunteering with Habitat? Perhaps it’s a mix of "adventure lust” fused with the confidence that we can really make a difference in the world.

The Habitat Mekong Big Builds ‘A Project of Hope’ in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (November 3rd–8th 2013) is calling for volunteers for the construction of 330 homes in Smile Village. The Village is a 2.2-hectare site within cycling distance of the city centre. The project is to build rental-housing units to provide families from urban low-income families with access to secure adequate housing. Habitat for Humanity Cambodia is the housing partner of Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE), a non-profit organisation, and is responsible for construction at Smile Village.

Habitat for Humanity Cambodia has built over 2,000 houses and housed over 9,000 families to date. By 2018, Habitat Cambodia plans to have served 125,000. You can be part of this story.

Volunteers are now needed for the Project of Hope – Smile Build in Cambodia. November 3rd–8th. For more details about the next Global Village Build contact Lavinia. llokotui@habitat.org.nz or phone 0800 44 22 48.



Special Builds

Posted on: 19 September 2013

Habitat is delighted to be partnering with the New Zealand Music Foundation, the Salvation Army and four Hamilton High Schools in some very special builds.

Big Band Build

**This event has been postponed**

Just Build – 16th-22nd September 2013

It’s the event that everyone will be talking about set on the grounds of the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, Auckland. The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity Auckland are partnering during the Salvation Army’s annual "Just Action” National Conference. With over a million cars travelling by the site each day, it’s set to be the most high-profile event build we’ve done to date.

Hamilton Build School Challenge – 16th-26th September 2013

One hundred Hamilton High School students will converge on a Dryden Road section in Hamilton determined to build an excellent four-bedroom home with Manaia, Saphire and their kids. At the end of the project, one of the four schools will take home the title of ‘School Challenge Champion 2013’. Championship points can be earned by being safe on site and showcasing team spirit and a social conscience. To see how the teams are doing, check out the Habitat for Humanity CNI Facebook page!



Its Habitat's Annual Appeal 2013

Posted on: 11 September 2013

Changing People's Lives

To play your part in this please use the button to the right and make your donation.

Together we can do more!

Make a donation-Live Below the Line. Habitat Build Challenge.



Easter Greetings

Posted on: 27 March 2013

During this Holy Week we are reminded of the journey of Jesus into Jerusalem as He fulfills His ministry. Im reminded of the journey many of our partner families, our home buyers are on as they work towards the goal of home ownership. Its the community involvement,volunteer participation, the new hope it brings to so many people. Its this new hope that we think about this Easter season. Have a blessed Easter.



Habitat gets my vote!

Posted on: 8 March 2013

Its a challenge: 15 days to get 500 people voting for Habitat.

Would you let your fingers do the walking and click on the car icon below and vote for Habitat for Humanity. The top 25 charities will get the use of a Toyota for three years.

Habitat could really use one as our team around the country seeks to build the community response to the housing need.

Appreciate your help, your vote is one more that we need, thank you! VOTE NOW!



Giving Cambodian’s ‘rubbish tip’ families a new life

Posted on: 25 February 2013

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the word with more than 30% of the population living below the poverty line. 

As one of 500 Habitat volunteers from all over the world, Porirua resident Hayley Burns helped build homes for three communities near central Kathmandu. 

"Being a part of a project to (give) families a roof over their head…was an absolute honour and a privilege”, says Burns. 

The 37 new homes offered the families the chance to build a stable supportive community where, together, they could grow more reliable crops, access better sanitation, create schools and plan for a brighter future. 



Habitat Highlights - Our People's Passion project

Posted on: 25 February 2013

This edition, we ask Tauranga Habitat for Humanity director and recent NZ’er of the Year semifinalist, Jim Dowman, what he’s most passionate about:

 "I’ve been lucky enough to work with Habitat in places like Samoa and Fiji, but I’m most inspired by families in my area, Te Puke. I’ve seen first hand the difference a stable home makes to a family, and the positive flow-on effects to the community - kids are happier, healthier and do better in school, tightknit communities are formed and families have the resources to give something back. It’s shows that just one person, in one team, doing one small thing can make the world a better place. 



New home, fresh start in Christchurch

Posted on: 25 February 2013

Life was tough for the Pollard family in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes. With five children and another on the way, they were priced out of the rental market by a huge demand for properties and a desperate shortage. "One place had 200 people go through. People were offering an extra $50 on top of the rental price”, says Angela Pollard.  They’d been living with church friends - the four oldest children in one room, and Angela and husband Hamish sharing a caravan with their toddler and new baby.  Their next move would be to a campground, where they would have to tough out a Christchurch winter in a tent and caravan. "It felt hopeless. Our two year old was so unsettled and so clingy: her world had been ripped apart.”

That’s when Habitat stepped in. Using donated materials and volunteer labour, the Pollard’s new home was built bit by bit. Angela contributed by baking, and Hamish worked on the build site after work and on weekends. "When the walls went up it all started to feel real. We’d walk around going yep, that’s the dining room, that’s the kitchen,” she says. Moving into the house was a wonderful shock to the family. "We were so used to being moved around it took a while to believe it was ours.” She says they now have the time and space to look forward to the future again. "The kids are so happy and settled and I’m in training for early childhood - children are my passion.” Angela and Hamish also love their "little community” of neighbours - something the family has never experienced before.

 "Last Christmas the couple next door had the kids over to make little chocolates. I don’t think the kids have had that before; they’ve never had neighbours be kind like that.”



A fresh start for NZ refugee families

Posted on: 25 February 2013

After fleeing from one of the world’s most abusive and repressive regimes in their native Myanmar/Burma, the Sui Pum-Aye family had nowhere to go. 

Bawi and his family spent six years in Malaysia, living in makeshift shacks and sleeping on leaves. In the country illegally, they were constantly on the move, afraid that they would be discovered and sent home to certain imprisonment, torture, or worse. 

Arriving in the Mangere Refugee Camp in 2007 the family had nothing but the clothes on their backs. Used to hot, equatorial countries, Bawi and his wife Dawt found Auckland in the winter shockingly cold and the different culture overwhelming. 

"We were so happy to arrive in a safe country, but also very nervous. Everything was different”,  says Bawi. 

Bawi says he feels incredibly grateful for the support his family received from Refugee Settlement Support. The camp offered them the chance to acclimatize to the New Zealand culture and to learn English. Once settled into their first house in Porirua, Bawi was also able to train as a cook, graduating top of his class. "It was amazing. I got a job and learned more English, which I’m still working on every day, every day.”

But life was still tough. Their house was cold, dangerously damp and too small for the young family of five. In winter the family would significantly reduce their food budget to pay for heating, but the close quarters and mould meant the children still suffered from chronic colds and chest infections. They would miss school, further straining the family’s meager resources with doctors visits. The damp conditions were so desperate that Bawi and Dawt’s oldest daughter developed Tuberculosis. 

Although Bawi has full time work, the family only just survived on his salary. They lived close to the poverty line, finding just barely enough to eat, with no way to find a better place to live or work towards a brighter future. 

Bawi and Dawt’s story is something we see every day  - hardworking, bright people who simply need a helping hand. With your support, The Sui Pum-Aye family finally have a place to call their own - but there are many more like them, and we’re grateful for any support you can give.

Jamie BBT is one of our Partner Family children. Credit: Russ Finnerty


One of Habitat’s first families, 20 years on

Posted on: 25 February 2013

20th anniversary special: You’ve helped 419 Kiwi families into homes, here’s one of the very first.

Deepak Lal was just three when his parents and two brothers lived in a one-bedroom flat in Pukekohe, but he still remembers it more than twenty years later. 

"It was damp and really small. There were cockroaches”, Deepak says. 

His father Kashmiri, a skilled embroiderer, had been made redundant and was struggling to support his family on borrowed money. They were so poor that when Kasmirri finally found work in a market garden, he could barely lift the produce.

"The onion bags were 25kg, and I was only 45kg”, says Kashmiri. 

The family’s luck changed when they became the second ever recipients of a Habitat for Humanity house in New Zealand. 

The family helped build their house, along with homes for other families. One home was for a local woman - Deepak and her niece are now married with two small children. Deepak says it shows Habitat is about more than houses. 

"We’ve had great neighbours and it builds a big community”, he says. 

Deepak, a machinist, hopes one day to work full time for his church, his elder brother Vijay, a corporal in the NZ Army, is training for the SAS, and the younger Anil is a warehouse manager. This family, who received that helping hand, are now giving back.

Deepak is sure that without the helping hand from Habitat, his "life could have been so different.” 

Kashmiri, now retired, agrees.  "Everybody says to me, you are a very lucky man”. 



CEO Vision

Posted on: 25 February 2013

 

Recently we had the honour of meeting Mary(name changed) and her whanau in Maketu, just outside Tauranga. After loosing her husband and their baby in a horific house fire, she has been living in a broken down house on the family's land with her three remaining children and father in law. The house is condemned-cold, damp and unsafe. This is not a place to find peace after such a devastating loss.

This is not a healthy, happy place for children to learn and grow. Here they face constant physical impact of an unhealthy, damp, mouldy environment and the emotional impact of a house that doesn’t feel like home. 

Mary has fought long and hard to be able to build a decent place for her family. After an application for a crucial license was turned down by the local landcourt, she didn’t give up. With drive and determination, she has sought other avenues for obtaining the license, arranging and establishing a family trust with her very far-flung extended whanau. The license is now all but granted and plans for a new Habitat house ready to go. With your help, her dream will shortly become a reality. 

It’s this sort of passion and focus that we see every day. Our families are hardworking, loving people, who find themselves in desperate situations, and refuse to give up. All they need is for people like you to give them just the helping hand they need. 

We’re incredibly grateful for your recent support of our families. But as you’ve seen from Mary’s story, there is great need in New Zealand. Another contribution at this time will go along way towards helping Marys’s  family and many like them into a new home. Even a small donation will mean a new lease on life.  You will give her children a brighter future and the chance to become incredibly valuable members of society.

Thank you again - we look forward to another 20 years of helping building new houses, homes and lives with you. 

Regards, 

Claire Szabó.

CEO 
Habitat for Humanity NZ



Congrats to Asher, Lego Build Challenge winner in Palmerston North

Posted on: 18 February 2013

Over 1,000 budding builders participated in Habitat for Humanity NZ’s Build Challenge in October. The judges were impressed by the quality and imagination of the Habitat houses built with Lego and pleased that many children related their builds to the Habitat mission of providing safe, decent and affordable housing around the world.

One of the winners was Asher Jorgensen, 7, from Palmerston North. On his entry, he said: "This is a house for lots of family and friends to spend lots of time together. There are lots of different things to do, like using the punching bag, an area for break-dancing, there is also a band playing – a song called ‘party rockers’. There is a power box, with solar panels. There is an indoor and outdoor area to enjoy. I hope you like it!” Well done Asher – we are delighted to have such an enthusiastic young "builder” in our region!



Samoa hit by inland tsunami.

Posted on: 17 December 2012

Habitat for Humanity was made aware earlier today that the devistation caused by Cyclone  Evan was more widespread than first reported. Up to 1000 houses have been badly damaged and 400 destroyed.

Habitat is deploying Pete North and Lua Maea to Samoa immediately to assess the damage and to look at the need of deploying volunteers from New Zealand in 2013.

 



Habitat Hero: Don Hensley

Posted on: 27 September 2012
“I know Dons brother very well, and, when Don and Daff arrived home from an overseas trip, we phoned him, asking if he would be keen to help. Don Started in October, and has had maybe 3 weeks off since. Don is the backbone of the work ethic, health and safety, and helps to manage big teams as well. All this while he himself is living in a broken home, waiting for his turn with EQC, which, they have told him, may be several years. If there is anything to be done to help me, Don is there.

Don we at Habitat honour you as a real hero. With over 8,000 hours of volunteer labour put into this project by hundreds of volunteers, you have given so much of yourself for your fellow Cantabrians in their hour of need. Thank You!”

– Paul and Helen Galbraith, Christchurch Rebuild Project managers


Moving Mountains

Posted on: 27 September 2012
As Habitat for Humanity seeks to diversify its building programme, its ‘A Brush with Kindness’ work is increasing.

A wonderful opportunity for church youth groups and corporate teams to make an impact in your local community in repairs of homes.

Margaret the recipient of A Brush with Kindness is suffering with terminal cancer and it had all got too much for her. Imagine if you will a section that had been neglected for 5 years. A house that had not been painted since being built, a bathroom floor that had succumbed to water. This was a job for the taking. With the aid of 4 corporate teams, one youth group and a number of enthusiastic individuals 24 cubic metres of garden rubbish was removed from the site, the house changed from pink to blue and a new floor installed in the bathroom. The challenge was met.

As Habitat for Humanity NZ diversifies its building programme this is a fantastic opportunity for communities to join hands and build a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: This house definitely needs ‘kindness’ touch // ‘Kindness’ act caught in action // Finished! // Well done, Team!


3rd Time Luckly

Posted on: 27 September 2012
Who says persistence doesn’t pay off? Joseph and Lydia Fa’afiu are evidence to the contrary.

More than three years ago by sheer coincidence, Joseph heard about the work of Habitat and attended a meeting where he dared to dream of owning his own home. With a brood of four young boys he, together with his wife Lydia, applied twice to join the scheme at Wymondly but they were pipped at the post both times.

However, not to be put off, Joseph and Lydia again applied to Habitat, diligently re-submitting their application according to the rigorous requirements of Habitat and this time they were successful, gaining a site in Hall Road, Mangere. Joseph and Lydia’s house was built on the forecourt of the Auckland cathedral in Parnell over the Easter period with a lot of help from the cathedral and local churches. It was moved on site to Mangere in June and the family moved into their new home shortly afterwards.

They are delighted with their new home, revelling in the space for their 4 boys, Zachariah (9), Carne (7), Micah (3), Ryan (2) and enjoying the simple pleasure of being able to put family pictures on the wall and on the fridge. With another baby on the way, Joseph and Lydia are looking forward to spending time in the house Habitat built along with their community.


Making A World Of Difference - A World Away

Posted on: 27 September 2012
Last month a group of Kiwis downed tools in New Zealand to pick them up in Sri Lanka and help Habitat build 24 houses in just one week.

It was, as they describe, “an extraordinary experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life”. Sri Lanka is a densely populated but exotic country of 20 million people living in an area twice the size of the Waikato region. However it is a world away from the Waikato. There are lush tropical jungles home to wild and exotic animals and ancient temples, precious gem mines, industries of silks and spices and extremes of poverty and wealth.

Conflict and natural disasters have peppered the history of Sri Lanka with the result that today 23% of the population live below the poverty line with little or no housing. In response, Habitat for Humanity has already constructed approximately 16,000 homes in various parts of Sri Lanka.

Recently a group of families in the district of Negombo, an area 60km north of Colombo approached Habitat with a proposal for a housing project of 24 houses in the rural village of Pathayamwatte. Dubbing this project the Reconciliation Build 2012, Habitat invited 100 volunteers from NZ to join international teams from England, Australia, Japan, USA and Cambodia for five days of concentrated construction work.

The foundations of the houses were already established on the arrival of the international volunteers on the 7th August. Each house was assigned a team leader with building experience supervising a team of 8-10 volunteers plus the family for whom the house was being built. The first day was spent learning the rudiments of brick laying and acclimatising to the temperatures, ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Celsius. Over the next 4 days, the scaffolding went up, the walls climbed in height and lintels for doorways and window frames were put in place. Floors were concreted the low tech way with the concrete being mixed and laid by hand and transported in buckets. The rafters made from coconut palms were treated with wood preservative and window frames primed and painted.

On the final day, the clay tiles were put into place on the roofs. Last minute touches of small concrete ‘patios’ and pathways were added and, with a huge feeling of pride and satisfaction, the international flags went up, the hardhats came off, tools went down and it was all over.

Thanks to the efforts of Kiwi volunteers, new homes now house Sri Lankan families in the village of Pathayamwatte in relative comfort and security. There are symbols of the New Zealand contribution embedded in the concrete paths around the houses in motifs of paua shells and the koru but the greatest legacy is the hidden energy and effort that built these homes. This 6 day encounter has left an indelible impression on the volunteers, many of whom are looking forward to repeating this experience.


Habitat for Humanity's Patron, Lt. Gen, The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae visits Lepa. Samoa.

Posted on: 19 July 2012
New Zealands Governor General recently visited Samoa as part of their 50 years Independance celebrations.
Sir Jerry visited Lepa which was the base of Habitats efforts there after the 2009 Tsunami. 89 fale were built with the help of 650 Kiwi volunteers.
 
Sir Jerry asked specifically to visit our build sites. The photo shows him standing with the elderly home owner and Latu Kupa at Lepa.
 


Kiwi Bank volunteers join the build on Bunnings carpark in Porirua.

Posted on: 21 June 2012

Habitat for Humanity is an organisation that builds homes for families who are currently residing in poor living conditions due to damp, mould, overcrowding etc and are unable to afford to rent a better property or would not qualify for a mortgage.

The family that the property is currently being built for are a family by the name of Bawl Tim Thang. They are a family originally from Burma who have currently been living in a housing NZ property which is severely damp and under insulated. There are 5 members of this family: Mum, Dad and their 3 children. Their current property was causing health issues for their children including the children having TB and other respiratory illnesses. After numerous complaints to Housing NZ and no support they applied to Habitat for Humanity and got accepted!

Once a family gets qualified for a Habitat property the property is built and relocated to a site purchased by Habitat (in this instance the property is going to Ascot Park in Porirua) the family then rents the property for 5 years and after that 5 years the rent that they have paid is able to be used as a deposit to purchase the property. In order to qualify for Habitat for Humanity the families must have no debt and must put in a certain amount of hours contributing towards the build themselves. We were lucky enough to meet and work with Dawt Kji who the property is being built for. She came to spend the day while her husband looked after their children, as he works night shifts.

There is one site manager who is the main builder Makere, then there is Claire who is Makere’s apprentice and then the rest is volunteers like ourselves !

As the project has just started when we turned up it was pretty much an empty site. So our job for the day was to put up the temporary piles and bearers. There was definitely no standing around as Makere and Clare were really keen to teach us how to use all the power tools and got us doing as much of the work as possible which was really great! (a bit daunting at first!!)

We had a lot of fun, so for those of you going next month you will see a huge amount of development on the property and will have a great time!


Kiwi Bank Volunteers.

Anna and AnnNa from Kiwi Bank with Habitat building staff at Bunnings, Porirua.


Habitat for Humanity Expands it's Pacific Vision.

Posted on: 17 May 2012
Following on from the great work that Habitat did in Samoa following the Tsunami, Habitat has been invited back to continue with its programme. Watch this space!  To read the letter from the Samoan Prime Minister click here


American Express staff get stuck in.

Posted on: 13 April 2012
American Express is a Habitat for Humanity Corporate partner. Today the first of 30 staff from their Auckland office spent time on the build in Hall Ave, Mangere. As part of their Social Responsibility programme 10 staff members were involved in drainlaying, fixing gib board to walls etc. Thank you for your support of families that need a hand up into a decent home.


Local Builds: Strength in numbers

Posted on: 9 February 2012
If ever there was an occasion to say, “It was a “team effort” it would be at Habitat Auckland’s Wymondley development closing celebrations.

On Sunday 30th October, as Dad Junior Veve humbly accepted the keys to his family’s new Habitat Home, the last home to be completed in the project, the smiles extended well beyond those of the Veve’s. For the many loved ones and new found friends gathered for this last dedication, there was plenty to celebrate. On this unusually hot Spring afternoon, with BBQ cranking, even the sun showed up and seemed to be smiling down!

The street party officially marked the end of the build project: a significant one for the Auckland Affiliate and for the hundreds of volunteers and donors who exercised their humanity towards families in housing need.

Involving the blood, sweat and tears of almost 2,000 volunteers including corporate teams and school groups, more than 20,000 hours of volunteer hours went into this labour of love. While support came thick and fast from local Kiwis, it also came from as far away as Canada and the USA. Nearly 100 Habitat Volunteers from North America visited our shores to assist Partner Families with the building of their homes.

Vital funding from the Housing Innovation Fund and support from other Funding Agencies, Trusts, Corporate Sponsors and Private Donors enabled the Auckland Affiliate and its many supporters to plan for and build 11 safe, decent and affordable homes alongside family members (representing 21 adults and 49 children suffering from substandard housing). When you consider this result was achieved in the short space of just 18 months, it truly is a remarkable effort in terms of people power and fundraising.

With an additional five Housing Foundation homes built in Clarrie Wills Way (named in honour of the late Habitat associate), an entirely new neighbourhood has been built in the city of Auckland.

Congratulations Habitat Auckland and all those involved on a job well done!
TOP: The Veve Family were the last of 11 families to move into their new Habitat home. BOTTOM: Celebrations in full swing at the street party event.


Habitat for Humanity launches the Build Challenge.

Posted on: 6 September 2011

Habitat for Humanity is challenging New Zealanders to build or make something for a local cause or person in need. You could make a bird feeder for your neighbour, a toy for your local school, or even craft a quilt for a community hospice. It’s totally up to you!

 

By asking family and friends to sponsor your build, you will also be helping Habitat for Humanity’s vital work in building and repairing homes for Kiwi families currently living in substandard housing.

 

We know there are loads of creative people and budding DIY’ers out there, so why not give it a go and help Habitat for Humanity and your local community by building something special.

 

You can BUILD as a team or as an individual. Simply register your build on the Build Challenge website www.buildchallenge.org, receive a Mitre10 Mega $50 voucher towards your materials (Auckland & Hamilton only) and start building. On the Build Challenge website you will find some simple designs to get you going. SUPPORT  a team too, by going on the website and checking out all the builds.

 

The Build Challenge runs from September 1st to October 3rd 2011. A grand finale and prize giving night will take place at Cafe Agora in Hamilton on October 3rd (World Habitat Day). The Auckland finale night is to be confirmed.

 

For all teams in need of a location and some guidance, Mitre10 Mega is offering you the opportunity to work on your build at the Mitre10 Mega in Hamilton on Saturday 24 September from 10am-2pm. For those in Auckland our workshop in Otara is also available along with all the tools you might need.

 

For more information, visit the website or contact:

Karlijn Nelissen (Central North Island region): resdev@habitatcni.org.nz / 07 849 0284
 
Conrad LaPointe (rest of the country): conradlp@habitatga.org.nz / 09 271 3357

Check it out. www.buildchallenge.org


Focus 2011: Local Builds

Posted on: 2 February 2011
They say charity begins at home and local builds will continue to be at the heart of Habitat New Zealand’s work in 2011. Since 1993 an impressive 376 homes have been built for Kiwi families in need of a safe, decent and affordable place to live. This achievement would not have been possible without the generosity and commitment of thousands of volunteers working alongside our hard-working Partner Families.

From Northland to Southland, this year will be no different. We are aiming to build many more homes to assist families struggling with substandard living conditions. Whether you can muster up a small army of volunteers through your work, church or club contacts, or simply roll up your own sleeves we would really appreciate your support.

For details on building activities in your area contact your local Habitat Affiliate or click here.
Hamilton’s Cuthers family moved into their new Habitat home just in time for Christmas. Photos courtesy Donna Walsh and the Waikato Times.


First Fiji Disaster Response Team Returns

Posted on: 25 November 2010
On the 23rd November our first disaster response Fiji team, made up of 5 kiwis (3 ladies and 2 gents ) returned from their 2 week intrepid stay in Fiji on the Island of Vanua Levu in the village of Karoko, 3 hours drive from the main City of Savusavu. They helped build 5 houses lived, ate and worked with the local village people and Habitat Fiji builders.

Although they say it was hard work and there certainly was an element of roughing it, they feel they contributed to the rebuild efforts and say that it was a very rewarding experience throughout.


Please click here for more info or if you would like to sign up.


Jan one of the 5 volunteers, comments below:


"I just wanted to say thanks for all the organisation you did to help get us on our way. We had the best trip ever and we all considered it to be a great success.

We were very well taken care of and Marlon from Habitat For Humanity Fiji did a wonderful job of ensuring all was well.


The team I travelled with were a pleasure to work and live with. I am sure we will be friends for life - in fact we have discussed getting together in 2 years and doing something similar with Habitat again. We made a lot of friends and know if we ever go back to Karoko we will be welcomed.


Again, thank you so much.



Kindest regards

Jan"




CLOSE CALL FOR TEAM CANADA WHO ALMOST ARRIVE IN HAMILTON

Posted on: 3 November 2010

10 days ago this fantastic Global Village Team from Canada thought they were going to build in Hamilton and spend their evenings on glamorous Victoria Street. Instead, due to a series of unfortunate events in the Waikato, Habitat Auckland were called upon at short notice to put the team to work.

Global Village teams are an integral part of Habitat’s work. Teams from around the world volunteer on builds from Chile to Mongolia and everywhere else in between to support our work and build with families in housing need. We feel very fortunate to have such a team with us who site supervisor Titia Besheval describes as “simply awesome”.

Team Canada will be on site for 10 days and then many plan to stay a while longer and travel around New Zealand. Team leader Barbara Gordon, an auditor by trade, says their expectations of the trip have already been exceeded. “The team have  really come together as a group and there are some wonderful dynamics….what is most pleasing is the sense of community within the group, with Kolini and his family and with the other families already housed on the new site”

Team member Paul  Colosimo, who has been fitting insulation for two days without complaining about a single itch, is to commemorate his trip with a tattoo from soon to be home owner Kolini Fakavai, who is, thankfully a professional tattoo artist. 

The group has already made a lasting impression on Mike and Titia. Speaking with more shock than awe Titia exclaimed that  “some of the ladies have been sanding for days and not even complained!” while Site Manager Mike Bourke has been very moved by the groups work ethic and more notably  their personalities.”It will be a real shame to see them leave…..they have been a real pleasure”

With Team Canada only 5 days into their trip, there is sure to be some emotional scenes when they finally leave the site at the end of the month.

 

Team Canada


GHD - GIVING UP LOADS OF SATURDAY’S AND MUCH MORE

Posted on: 3 November 2010
 The Young Professionals team at GHD (not the hair styling products) Consultants, led by Marisha Jaglal were presented with some very special volunteer awards by Habitat on the 7th October. This was to acknowledge the amazing commitment of the numerous teams and individuals who have been coming regularly and giving up their Saturdays for over 6 months. Pictured receiving our small tokens of thanks from l - r are Yin Fang Lee,   Marisha Jaglal, Vikram Dass and Veronica Maka. All of the GHD staff are engineers, yet are gaining valuable hands on experience on site.  “ You have to be out there to get real knowledge and experience” says Vikram, “and you learn from your mistakes….. …...and I’m learning a lot!”  Many thanks again to all the team.


LATEST GLOBAL VILLAGE TRIP NOT LOST IN TRANSLATION

Posted on: 27 October 2010

Erecting homes for Poor by Retired Citizen of New Zealand

(Annapurna post, 26th October 2010 - By Somnath Bastola)

Wrinkle lines on the face, blue veins over the hands can be see clearly because of the elder age. Wearing powered glasses and cap, 70 year old lady Ms. Lisweith, has got the enthusiasm was just inverse of her age. Rather caring much for her age, she was busy with cutting bamboo strips, making mud slurry, and carrying mud for the construction of house for the poor.
Along with Ms. Lisweith, two groups of Newzerlanders were busy in building homes for the economically back warded people of Itahari municipality-6 Bajraha of Sunsari. Without considerate of their old age, like Ms. Lisweith there were more than a dozen of senior citizen of Newzerland, doing hard work in construction of house for the meager.
They were 19 in number and from different parts of Newzerland, some from capital Hammington, and some from Oaklent, Yekyato and Walington. They came to Nepal under Habitat for Humanity International-Nepal, recognized organization in making decent shelter for the poor. SOS Children Village-Itahari had helped these Newzerlanders in choosing the house of poor and other local facility.
They choose the poorest family of the area and made the walls of bamboo strips. Not only that but also they plastered these walls with mud. Among these 19 Newzerlanders, retired old people were more in number. Nearly whole team seemed passionate in their work.
61 year old Ms. Judy told the reporter that since it was the wonderful experience of her life, she was very much exicited. After making mud slurry in the yard, carrying it and plastered the walls, she answered the queries of Annapurna post that she was having amazed feeling having chance to work for the local poor people. She said” I am surprised. I am experiencing what I have never experienced yet. Thank you God”. When she was young, she used to run the polytechnic institute in Newzerland.
Ms. Helen Nil, the leader of the group, said that she was feeling superb helping the poor of Nepal. When the reporter asked her age she said jokingly, “I am not the young wonderful lady but don’t worry, I am full of enthusiasm.” She wanted to be busy even in her home country and it is really interesting to use bamboo for the shelter. Retired from her lawyer profession, Ms. Helen said,” my remaining life will be dedicated for the poor and needed people of the world.”
The oldest of the team, 74 years old, Mr. Jyof was busy in making and sharpen the bamboo strips. He is retired from Farm house of Government of Newzerland. He really had a great time working hard in building a home for the poor. He told that they bear their travel expenses by themselves.
The foreigners worked hard to build the house as per the locals’ choice so they are happy too. Bajrahi’s Minkumari Chaudhari said it was estimated more than Rs.10,000 for her house to construct. However, with the help of these foreigners she was able to minimize the cost.
Locally managing the team, and director of SOS Children Village, Mr.Ramesh Tamrakar, informed that it was the fifth foreigner team came to Itahari to help in construction of house for the deprived people of there. Within these two and half years, the people from America, Canada and Newzerland had visited and built 68 houses. Before, there used to visit by international students the most but this time it was more of retired Newzerlanders, Mr Tamralar mentioned
Photo of team in Annapurna Post. 26.10.2010


EVEREST BUILD COMPLETED

Posted on: 20 October 2010

Nearly 150 Kiwis have returned from Nepal after an amazing 8 days of building and time looking around the country.

Fourty houses were completed over the week in hot conditions. It was great working alongside volunteers from Australia, USA, Singapore, Korea, and of course the partner families on each house.

Check out our Facebook page to see video footage of each days activities. Thank you to each Kiwi volunteer, you did an amazing job and worked hard.

Have a look and further Global Village opportunities that are coming up.

The family at house 27 wearing their NZ beanies!


Nepal: Where there's a Wills...

Posted on: 6 September 2010

Clarrie Wills Way in Otara, is more than just a street sign. It is a legacy of a man and his wife and the help they have given 50 Auckland families to own and maintain their homes as volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. Clarrie and Jenny Wills, residents of Acacia Cove retirement village in Manurewa, had always planned to travel overseas together to work on houses one day. But Clarrie died three months ago and, next month, Jenny will make the Everest Build trip to Pokhara, Nepal – alone.

“This is for him really,” Jenny says of her pending trip. “He always talked about going overseas on a build, but his health was failing and I had to take care of him. If he’d been here, he would have been pretty excited. He was involved in so much with Habitat for Humanity.” Clarrie, a builder and inspector with the department of Maori Housing and Housing New Zealand, was a founding member of Habitat and a member on the board for about 13 years. Jenny spent eight years as chairwoman of Habitat’s family support committee and six on its board of directors.

“Between the two of them they have contributed a tremendous amount,” says Habitat Greater Auckland’s executive director, Warren Jack. “One month before he died we had him (Clarrie) on a Habitat site to dedicate the street to him. And Jenny has had quite a big role for someone on a voluntary basis.”

Jenny’s two children have had the opportunity to go to Nepal, and Jenny, 70, is relishing the opportunity to go herself. “I’m so excited to be a part of a 16 member Global Village team,” she says. A total of nine New Zealand teams representing 150 Kiwis will make up half of the volunteers from around the globe. They will be charged with the ambitious goal of building 30 new homes together with local family and community members next month.

Words from Rebecca Blithe and photo by Sylvie Whinray of The Aucklander


ELIM STUDENTS INSPIRED BY NEW EXPERIENCE

Posted on: 6 September 2010

On 5th July a Global Village team made up of ten students from Elim Christian College, together with PE department head Jason Webb and science teacher Robyn Bailey, set off to Fiji on a Habitat build.
Little more than two years on from the Mangatepopo Gorge tragedy, in which six Elim students and their teacher were swept to their deaths, Mr. Webb believes that this first-time experience for the school, gave students a new passion and focus for getting out there and making a difference.

Mr. Webb said that staff had been discussing for some time ways in which the school could be involved in hands-on learning opportunities that also enriched the lives of others. For Elim Christian College, Habitat’s Global Village trip to Fiji ticked all the right boxes.

Although the team could meet a very practical need through their help building a simple two-bedroom home, he believed there was certainly a lot to be gained by the students also. “The build is truly only a small part of the experience,” Mr. Webb said, “It is the people and the community that made the biggest impact. Team members were blown away by the local community’s hospitality and generosity despite having very little themselves.” One example given was where the parents of the daughter whose home they were building, gave up their modest home in Wailevu for the week so that the team could have a decent place to stay.

Mr. Webb also appreciated the many opportunities to get involved with community life that included a celebration with villagers at the build site, visiting a local school and handing out stationery and sports equipment that Elim students had brought along, and a moving dedication ceremony of the new family home. The college has already booked another Global Village trip to Fiji for October 2011. They are just one of a growing number of New Zealand high schools, including St. Kentigerns and Albany Senior High School, that recognise the rich learning experiences that can be gained from a Global Village trip.

Top: Jason Webb (far left standing) and the Elim College team with Habitat Fiji staff. Bottom: Elim College’s Jason Webb with some of the local Fijian children to benefit from Habitat’s work.


WYMONDLEY ROAD PROJECT MOVES INTO HIGHER GEAR

Posted on: 30 July 2010

Fifteen houses are to be built in partnership with the New Zealand Housing Foundation (NZHF), as part of the comprehensive Wymondley Rd development. The houses will be built progressively during 2010 and 2011. So far one has been completed and another two have the roofs on and windows in and the floor of the fourth house will soon be poured.

There are a large number of individuals and corporate teams already involved and more are needed for the next two years. To date we have had teams from Daimler Mercedes Financials, ANZ Bank, Tonkin Tools, Framework Trust,  IAG Insurance, AIC, Felton, Bluebird, Microsoft, St Cuthberts, Genesis, GHD Engineers, Jasmax, Albany Senior High, St Kentigerns,  Price Waterhouse Coopers plus many individuals.

Please contact us about coming on site as either a corporate team or an individual volunteer.



ELIM CHRISTIAN COLLEGE- THE VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

Posted on: 27 July 2010

We arrived on time in Nadi and were greeted by the friendly habitat Fiji staff at the airport.  We then all got aboard a people mover/truck and headed to the other side of the island where we would be staying for a week. Our habitat host for the week was Sikele.  He was with us all of the time making sure that we had everything we needed and dealt with the locals regarding our home stay and the arrangement of getting food and water for our team.  We arrived in Wailevu where we stayed for the week. We stayed in the parent’s house of the daughter whose home we were building for.  They graciously gave up their house for a week for it to be invaded by all of these people. 

From there we drove 35 minutes every morning up to the build site which was a small village far up into the hill country.  The accommodations were simple but effective.  We all slept on the floor on foam mats and all shared one toilet and shower. Girls and guys had their own changing room and meals were prepared by the family members. The food was excellent. We were very well looked after. All water that we drank was bottled or boiled. One of the nights they arranged for us to stay up in the village where we were building the house. It was a very good experience. During the evening they had a festive ceremony of singing and dancing.  A true cultural experience.  We had a good deal of time to interact with the local village community.  Many of the students found this to be a very valuable experience. It was good to have other things to do besides just working on the house.  The build is truly only a small part of the experience it is the people and community that make the biggest impact.

On Sunday we were able to go to a Fijian church and then we dedicated the house to the family which was a very emotional and moving experience. The build went pretty well. The prep work that was done before we got there was minimal so we were basically starting from literally the ground up.  We managed to get three walls up and much of the painting done as well as a couple of big holes dug for the sewage system.

We were able to visit the school one afternoon which was another impacting experience.  We were able to give them workbooks, pencils and some sports equipment that we brought along with us.  We performed a few songs for them and they performed a few songs for us.  Later that afternoon we all played volleyball with the local villagers. It was quite a spectacle.

The final leg of our trip took us to a hotel just north of Nadi where we were able to unwind and process all that had gone on for the last week.  We basically had been living altogether along with the family for 24hrs straight for 7 days.  We had some good group meetings and discussions about what impacted them during their time on the build and talked about what they might feel upon returning home. One of the days was spent out on an island snorkelling and just spending time on the beach together as a team. The students really enjoyed getting to know each other better and just having some time to themselves. 

One of the things that stood out to many was the simpleness of village life and how the importance of family, community and spirituality really stood out.  Western culture is so cluttered with stuff and business that it takes us away from these simple qualities that are essential to life.  Food is grown to live and survive on not casually picked over in a supermarket culture. Health and safety was quite good during the trip. There was the occasional scratched knee that required a plaster and some ointment. The only medical issue was one student came down with an allergic reaction after swimming in the river.  She was taken to the local medical clinic and given stronger antihistamines  free of charge. Overall it was an amazing trip and awesome to see Gods hand of providence and protection over the whole thing.  I look forward to providing and organizing more opportunities like these for students to be a part of in the future.

Jason Webb
Elim Christian College

 

Jason Webb

Elim Christian College



TEAM MONGOLIA - JULY 2010

Posted on: 20 July 2010

I have recently returned from Mongolia. I was fortunate enough to be the team leader for 10 amazing volunteers from various places in New Zealand. We spent 5 days constructing 2 brick houses between us including insulation and parts of the roof. What a fantastic experience. I would recommend this to anyone no matter what your circumstances are. Our team sure had diversity from Shane : an 18 year old student from Whangarei to Owen turning 76 from New Plymouth.

I suggest travelling singularly, as in a team environment you become friends very quickly and it is amazing the bond that you can form with your team members in just a few days. If you choose to travel with a companion this still is equally fulfilling as you can both share in the memories and make new friends together.

We have numerous overseas builds on the horizon for the rest of 2010 and 2011, so if you are interested please go to our website
www.habitat.org.nzand see which one is for you.

You can fundraise online, if you need any tips, ideas or advice on how to do this please contact us. Shane managed to raise his full amount for Mongolia. Go Shane ...

I have now been to Samoa and Mongolia, each time I have had a real life changing experience, made great friends along the way and I truly can’t wait to venture on my next build. Here is the perfect way to unite our cultures and help change lives forever. Building homes, Building hope.

many Thanks,

Devie (Team Leader)



HABITAT LAUNCHES EXCITING NEW PROGRAMME- 'A BRUSH WITH KINDNESS'

Posted on: 19 July 2010

‘A Brush with Kindness’ is a home preservation programme of Habitat for Humanity that utilises community organisations and individual volunteers who work with homeowners who are struggling to maintain their house. Homeowners help with the work as they are able through ‘Sweat Equity’ and pay for the work done on their property on an affordable-terms basis. Payments received from the homeowners are recycled into a ‘Fund for Kindness’ to enable more projects to be undertaken. Habitat will consider all projects up to a maximum of $20,000.



HABITAT RECEIVE SPECIAL HONOUR FOR REBUILD WORK IN SAMOA

Posted on: 8 July 2010

A special Samoan ava and saofai’ ceremony, normally reserved for the likes of prime ministers and heads of state, was an unexpected and moving part of recent farewell celebrations for  Habitat for Humanity New Zealand and the charity’s rebuilding efforts in Samoa.

Representatives from the village of Lepa and the wider Aleipata region, an area that bore the full brunt of the September 2009 tsunami, bestowed the matai title Agaiotupu-olemalaetoto’amalemalaeolea’ava, or “chief master-carpenter”, to the surprise and delight of Habitat New Zealand Chairman, Grant Cathro.

“You will never be forgotten by our families or our village, and we are so thankful of the good efforts you have done for us,” said Auelua Samuelu Enari, a spokesperson and paramount chief for Lepa.

Habitat  was asked to delay it’s final closing celebration  to Tuesday, following Kiwi volunteer farewell celebrations on Sunday 26th June, so that the Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, could also attend the special ceremony that included the drinking of kava. Mr. Cathro said he was both honoured and humbled to accept the title on behalf of so many Kiwis wanting to respond to the plight of the Samoan people following the tragedy.

An impressive eighty nine fales, traditional Samoan homes, have been built for surviving tsunami families and some community projects completed under the banner of Habitat for Humanity New Zealand. Mr. Cathro says this achievement simply wouldn’t have been possible without the support of both individual and organisation donors, and the tireless man power of more 600 Kiwi volunteers in partnership with Samoans from five of the worst-affected villages.


“I am overwhelmed yet extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve together in a relatively short period of time,” Mr. Cathro said, “Having adequate shelter is one of mankind’s fundamental needs and it is wonderful that, through Habitat, we are able to address this need in such a practical way.”
Mr. Cathro says that although initially shocked by the ferocity of the tsunami, Kiwis were “chomping at the bit” to respond to the plight of their Pacific neighbours. 
“Habitat for Humanity New Zealand was merely the catalyst for accommodating Kiwis wanting to accommodate Samoans,” he said.

Habitat New Zealand’s rebuilding efforts now shift to Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Tomas. Habitat NZ will partner with Habitat Fiji to build 50 new houses on the island of Vanua Levu in northern Fiji from September. New Zealanders interested in volunteering their services and supporting this work are encouraged to regularly visit www.habitat.org.nz for more details.

Grant Cathro, chair of the Habitat board at the special ceremony. Photo courtesy of Samoan Observer.


MONGOLIA 'SPECIAL EVENT' BUILD

Posted on: 25 June 2010

A team of 10 New Zealanders from all over the country are getting together for an adventure of a lifetime.
The Team of 10 Kiwis are flying on Air China on Friday 25th June. Stopping over in Beijing for the night and then straight to Ulaanbaatar.
They are going to a ‘Special Event’ build where there will be 100 international and 100 national volunteers working together to build houses as part of the special event.
This is HFH Mongolia’s first ‘special build’ commemorating the 10th anniversary. They have built 1600 houses to date.
The six countries partaking in building 30 houses in 5 days are:
US x 30, NZ x 10, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Nepal.

Our New Zealand Team

Devie: Team Leader – Habitat for Humanity volunteer coordinator from Auckland.
Owen: Semi-retired engineer from New Plymouth.
Linda: Homemaker from Hastings.
Jacque: Shopping Centre Manager from Auckland
Shane: 18 years old Student from Whangarei
Lou:  Businesswoman from Rotorua
John: Driver (trucks and tractors) from Reporoa
James: Manager from Rotorua
Tania: Care Administrator/ Volunteer Ambulance Officer from New Plymouth
Dick: Paramedic/station manager from Tauranga


Some Mongolia Facts

Many Mongolians who  live in both cities and nomadic, live in the traditional Ger (tents) which are moveable. This is a round, cone-shaped tent. A ger has only one door and no windows. But it has a small opening at the top, called a 'toono'' which allows smoke to go out of the stove's chimney. It is made out of boards with a wool covering so that it is easy to put up and to take down.

The land is more than twice the size of big state of Texas, it is even bigger than Alaska. It is 1,6 million square kilometres which is four times of Japan and almost the size of whole eastern Europe. This makes Mongolia sixth largest country in Asia and nineteenth in the world. Pretty impressive.  But the population is only 2.9 million which makes Mongolia one of the least dense areas in Asia.

Almost another 40% of population are scattered all over Mongolia with their thirty plus millions herds of sheep, goats, cattle, horses and camels.

Mongolia has 21 provinces, called aimag. Each aimag has a central city or town and about 15-22 sub-provinces called soum.
More than 50% will say they adhere to Buddhism which is very much mixed with Shamanism, close to 10% will claim to be Christians of all forms and less than 6% follow Islam.

70% of Mongolia is under the age of 35. Gender ratio close to 1:1. Ethnicity: 84% Khalkha Mongols, 6% Kazakhs and 10% other ethnic groups.

The official language is Khalkha Mongol. English and Russian are widely understood but less spoken. If you speak one of the two you will survive. It is fun if you learn few phrases in Mongol before you come. Everybody will love you and try to understand you no matter how you say it.

For more information
Click Here



She drove 60kms and it changed her life!

Posted on: 11 September 2009

Fredarh’s cousin was building a HFH home in Tuakau earlier this year and Fredarh generously took herself 60kms for three Saturdays in a row to help with the build...AND SHE HAD FUN

Fredarh lives in a garage, with beds taking all the space with the tiniest bathroom attached at the back of her mother’s family property. She has lived there for nearly three years. This positive woman is grateful for the accommodation.

Fredarh works in Mangere and has three children Angela, 12 yrs, Vinnie, 9 yrs and Geana, 4 yrs who go to schools in Mt Roskill. The experience in Tuakau awakened the dream of providing her family with their own home. ‘Never would it have been possible before’ says Fredarh. And she was selected for the Women’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week Build.

Her home is being built at the Viaduct in conjunction with Air New Zealand Fashion week and is fronted by fashion designer and entrepreneur Trelise Cooper. The day after being selected Fredarh was thrown in the limelight meeting Trelise and being interviewed by Women’s Weekly. Fredarh will be a household name. She has courage. The house will be sited in Mangere and will be close to her work. Skychef are proud to support Fredarh where she has earned great respect working for them, first as a chef and now 10yrs later as a pricing clerk. With the strong support of  work and extended family, Fredarh can hardly sleep with excitement. For this quiet, hard working woman, life has taken her and her three children from obscurity to fame and most importantly from a garage to a home. 

We wish you all the best Fredarh, Angela, Vinnie and Geana.

Fredarh and family with Trelise Cooper, excited to be "Fashioning" a new home!


Building exciting new futures in Franklin

Posted on: 23 April 2009

Dominion Road, Tuakau

Building has just got under way on Habitat Greater Aucklands' latest build at Dominion Road, Tuakau, Franklin.  Franklin was the birthplace of Habitat in New Zealand in 1992 and it's exciting to be working for families in this area once again.

In Tuakau, Habitat is building two 3 bedroom brick homes on a site purchased from Housing New Zealand, which has build 7 homes adjacent to this build. It's another example of Habitat working with strategic partners to provide affordable housing in the challenging environment of greater Auckland land prices. A Global Village team is due to spend two weeks on site contributing to the build and local volunteers, including Franklin Mayor Mark Ball, are lining up for their time on site to contribute to the build. Additional volunteers would be warmly welcomed!
 
 


Sharing in a proud Dad's delight

Posted on: 28 July 2008

Six years ago, Liva Muliaga and his wife Evelina were struggling to raise their six children in a three-bedroom state house in Auckland’s Otara.  Liva was working for a trucking business, yet the cost of living meant the family could never save the deposit necessary for a bank loan.

“Your environment plays a big part in who you are,” says Liva. “In our old house there was no room for the children to have any privacy. No room for them to do their study and their homework. I didn’t want for their environment to affect them somewhere down the line.”  Liva read of Habitat’s work in his local paper and, encouraged by friends decided to apply. Today, the family has the security of their own home, with enough room for the children to flourish – and how they have!

The oldest children, 21-year-old twins Junior and Liz, will both graduate with Bachelors of Commerce next year from the University of Auckland. Jonathon, 17, has joined them at varsity to study law. If Liva’s dreams do come true, their younger siblings, Ifo (12), Paua (10) and John (8) will also one day be university students.“Having our own home has changed our life. It’s brought stability to my family,” says Liva.  “It’s given my kids a safe place to grow and it’s made facing difficulties easier.”

Sadly, Evelina died last year after battling leukaemia.  She was immensely proud of her children’s achievements, and of the home that they could call their own.“The whole family participated in the 500 hours of sweat equity*,” says Liva. “We loved it. It made the whole process more special. Everyone helped us – friends, family, volunteers, local businesses and churches. We’ve remained friends with a lot of those people.”

“It gave us the chance to achieve something for the family and to show the rest of the community what’s possible.”

Please help us once more show other families the limitless possibilities of what can be achieved. Donate Online today

The Muliaga family, in their family home.


Wymondley Road progressing.....

Posted on: 1 January 1970
8 Ormiston Road
East Tamaki
Auckland
Tel: +64 9 271 3357
Fax: +64 9 271 3359

Wymondley Road Development

 

Habitat Greater Auckland is moving through the consent process on the Wymondley Road Development. The development is to be a 6,600 sq. m, 16 house project by Habitat Greater Auckland and the New Zealand Housing Foundation (NZHF).  

Purchased from the Manukau City Council in September 2007, the site is typical of what the Greater Auckland affiliate is now looking for. While commercial developers may not see the potential of the area, Habitat believes that its efforts can help to improve both the housing situation of its selected partner families, as well as the community the new homes will be situated in.  

Habitat will build 11 of the houses in the development, and the NZHF the remaining five. We have great hopes of starting this development in the second half of 2009.

 

Building on Faith

Our Building on Faith house at Wymondley Road was completed and we were very excited about welcoming Shona Thompson and her family into their new home on Sunday 5 October. Shona’s family was the 68th partner family for Greater Auckland and 318th for New Zealand.

The 2008 Building on Faith house was an absolute dream project for Habitat Greater Auckland, with an outstanding level of enthusiasm and involvement from the seven churches of Remuera. The churches raised funds, and provided volunteers who spent many hours building the house in the carpark of St Aidan's Church. In total, the churches contributed close to $80,000 towards the construction costs - a new record for one of our Building on Faith projects.