Housing Forum Puts Spotlight on Housing for Pacific People

May 14, 2019

Auckland, 14th May 2019 ─ The inaugural Pacific People’s Housing Forum, hosted by housing organisation Habitat for Humanity New Zealand and the Office of Hon. Jenny Salesa MP, Minister for Building and Construction will take place in Auckland on 17th May 2019.

“Pacific People face a diverse range of challenges and opportunities in housing” says Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu, a keynote speaker at the forum and Habitat for Humanity New Zealand Director.

The event will bring together people and organisations who have an interest in the housing of Pacific People in New Zealand and the Pacific to discuss addressing these challenges and opportunities.

“Be it geographical and environmental factors in the Pacific or homeownership rates in New Zealand, there is much work to be done in this area” says Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu.

The Housing Forum boasts a formidable line-up of speakers including Minister for Building and Construction Hon. Jenny Salesa, three-time Attorney-General of Samoa Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu, Nobel Prize recipient, international climate analyst Penehuro Lefale and former Housing Minister and current Deputy Chair of Housing New Zealand Hon. Vui Mark Gosche.

With the theme “Powering collaboration for housing impact,” it will focus on problem-solving to overcome barriers in ensuring adequate housing for Pacific People across the region of New Zealand and the Pacific.

“The Forum gives us an opportunity to consider key challenges in housing for Pacific Peoples.” says Claire Szabó, CEO of Habitat for Humanity New Zealand. “The average net wealth of a Pacific household in New Zealand is $15,000 compared with $138,000 for the average Pākehā household. This forum is an opportunity to highlight and discuss these unique barriers in housing for Pacific People.” she said.

Attendees include practitioners and stakeholders in Pacific housing both in New Zealand and from around the Pacific, such as public servants, staff and leaders of NGOs, local government, commercial agencies working in housing, politicians and youth.

The Pacific People’s Housing Forum will be preceded by lead-in events in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji looking at the specific housing needs in those countries.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to gather key leaders and stakeholders in the sector to share new ideas and best practices at our very first Pacific People’s Housing Forum” says Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu.

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About the Housing Forum
Habitat for Humanity International has successfully hosted a biennial Housing Forum in Asia for more than a decade. The Pacific Peoples Housing Forum 2019 is the first event of its kind to focus specifically on the housing needs and opportunities for Pacific People. It is one of several events across the Asia-Pacific region leading into the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Bangkok in September 2019.

About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has been working in New Zealand since 1992. Habitat for Humanity supports people to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat also works extensively in the Pacific, helping families in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to access safe and affordable homes, including after disasters. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To support Habitat’s work, visit https://habitat.org.nz/donate/