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  • Linda McLaughlan

Houseloads of Experience

Drum roll.... Mike Stringfellow, hugely experienced senior housing policy advisor, analyst, project manager, advocate and Paekākāriki resident, is the Paekākāriki Housing Trust’s first coordinator. We feel very lucky to have him.

Not only does Mike have years of experience, he's a passionate advocate for social justice and has been quietly working with the Housing Trust since its inception. For Mike, housing is a key part of living in a fair society. Facilitating access to housing for people who need support, is for him a vital need.

Readers who live in Paekākāriki may have met Mike. Behind the bar in the dugout during the football season or quietly working through a list of tasks to support the legendary school plant sales; supporting his children, Olive and Louis, on the sidelines of football or netball games or on the end of the telephone giving tenancy advice; in his role as school caretaker or even perhaps at your own house as he flexes his building muscles. Somewhere in there he sleeps, but probably not for long.

He has extensive experience in housing. The last to blow his own trumpet, Mike has worked with Housing New Zealand, Office for Treaty Settlements and Tenants Protection Association (amongst others). He has worked widely across the housing sector — from advising tenants on their rights, to developing policy around emergency housing and homelessness; from business modelling to analysis.

As coordinator Mike will be working with the Trust to to support, facilitate and accelerate our strategic goals, help progress projects, and to advocate for our projects outside of the village. He will be a central point of contact for questions from both our community and the wider world, including key stakeholders in the housing sector. He will seek and apply for funding opportunities and continue work he already started in a voluntary capacity, to deepen our connections with other housing trusts, peak body groups and funders.

There is one big role that I haven't mentioned: husband to our co-chair Tina Pope. Tina absented herself from the recruitment process for the coordinator role, to ensure there was no conflict of interest.

The coordinator role has been created by generous funding from a Paekākāriki resident, funding the role for the first six months. If you are interested in contributing to it continuing beyond this time, do get in touch. We are so excited about investing in the important mahi Mike will be doing.

Please join us in congratulating him next time you see him.

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