Habitat Women: A conversation with Brittany, our listening ear

Mar 8, 2023

I’m Brittany and I’m the Healthy Homes Senior Administrator.


What led you to get involved with Habitat Northern?

Basically, I wanted to help people. That’s my main focus in life, especially helping people with children. I’m in a very similar situation to a lot of the women that I work with. I was a single mum for the first two years of my daughter’s life, and she has had a lot of health issues as well. The main reason I started at Habitat was my goal to help parents to get better health outcomes for their kids.


What does your day-to-day look like at Habitat?

The main thing would be talking with landlords and trying to get them to realise that the houses that people are living in are not up to standards, and trying to improve that.


Do you often find the landlord knows about the situation?

Yup. They’re just not willing to do anything about it.


That must be hard. How do you deal with it?

I just have to look at the bigger picture and think about the end result. Reminding myself that it’s going to be a better outcome for the family once we have tried to get the landlords to improve the situation of the house.


What sort of challenges do you face within your role? And how do you overcome those?

I think my biggest challenge would be seeing the conditions of the houses that people live in. And again, I just have to lean on my colleagues for support and try and get these landlords to realise that their houses could potentially be making children sick.


Do you think that it’s very well known in New Zealand, the extent of the problem?

To a degree. I think some people know, but it’s not very well talked about. People don’t realise that the housing issue is so linked to New Zealand’s health issues.


Your team at the Curtin Bank is a very diverse group of women. How would you say working in this team has impacted you?

Everybody in the Curtain Bank comes from a different background but we’re all here for the same outcome and purpose. We all lean on each other for support, and are there for everyone when it’s needed. The way our team works is just amazing for support. I think that’s one of the main reasons why I love coming to work every day.


As you know, often at the heart of the homes that Habitat works with are really strong wāhine. Can you think of a woman in your life that has or continues to inspire you?

I think Courtanay, Habitat’s Healthy Homes Manager, she’s very passionate about what we do and our mission. She’s been a very strong leader for me.


Through your work with Habitat, can you think of a time that either you or a woman you’ve worked with has been empowered?

I feel empowered every day, seeing the families that we’ve worked with overcome things like dealing with their landlords. They’ve now got the courage to do that and the confidence to raise issues that they wouldn’t have before, and that’s due to our help.

I feel like it’s an everyday thing for me, and they’re so proud once they have everything sorted as well. A lot of my job is supporting these wāhine so they have the courage and skills to help themselves.


What’s one word you’d use to describe yourself?

Committed, yeah, I’d say I’m really committed.


Click here to learn more about the amazing work of our Curtain Bank team