Happy new year, Thanks to all of you who have answered our preliminary survey. The incredible response both through this and in phone calls and messages, with people offering help and wanting to be part of this project, has been so empowering. We've only just begun...
As we write over $10,000 has been fundraised towards keeping the Kingi-Warena whānau in their home through Givealittle, and we have received messages from large numbers of people interested in investing in housing locally, with this whānau and beyond, and offering a whole range of essential professional services. What an incredibly resourceful community! We were also blessed, as you’ll see on this page, with national media that sends an empowering message to communities around the country and beyond that they are not helpless (TVNZ item is currently offline but hope to have a link up soon but radio and print links are handy).
We look forward to being in touch soon with more detailed plans and to let you know how things have progressed with keeping the Kingi-Warena whānau in their home—at present it looks very positive that we will find a way to keep them in their home while longer-term housing opportunities are developed.
Community input is vital. We will be holding a community meeting early this year to help shape the Paekākāriki Housing Trust's wider strategies. So we want to keep getting survey responses from you here.
In the meantime, here’s an interim report to give you a flavour of the response, prepared with the assistance of local Jennifer Martin.
By 23 December over just a five-day period 151 people had used the survey to let us know what they love about Paekākāriki, and how they would like to support the housing trust group and the Kingi-Warena whānau.
68 respondents were interested in investing in affordable housing solutions in Paekākāriki. Many others have offered other forms of support. We think this offers us a great launchpad as a community to do something. More than half the renters who responded to the survey say it is getting harder to stay in Paekākāriki, with a small number planning to move to somewhere more affordable soon.
We heard from people who just visit (and have done so over many years), people who have lived here and had to move on because of the shortage of affordable housing, and from many of you living here (from 1 to 47 years).
Here is some of what you shared about why you came, and what is great about life in Paekākāriki from your combined 1200 years of experience of making home and weaving community here.
For those who arrived more than 30 years ago, and for those who came more recently, housing affordability was part of the draw but you also came to join family already here, to join an open and diverse community (those with longer lives in the village tell us that it has become less diverse over time) and to enjoy a beautiful beach environment and vibrant arts community close enough to Wellington to commute to work.
Here is a sample of what you have told us:
The beach, the park, the small village, the fact that this lovely place can't really get any bigger geographically.
The most amazing place to raise children in nature and peace
Paekākāriki had the sense of quirk, diversity and community-minded values that were important to us. All our expectations have been met.
Because of how friendly people are. A lot more welcoming of differences than most places.
Somewhere I can have a dog off a lead, a kid in bare feet and not feel judged.
Great location with access to outdoors and still close enough to commute to our jobs in town by train.
A safe haven for our growing family, and needed friends and community around us, also to have the chance to help and contribute to a community!
I wanted to be somewhere where people believed in things bigger than themselves and where people looked after each other.
Community, beauty, location and energy...great for kids and families
Slower for sanity, good for the soul, good for the way I want to live,
We have just had our first baby and still can't believe we managed to move here. Count our blessings everyday.
The community, the sea, the integrity of the village, for a peaceful life.
The strong sense of community values, diversity and uniqueness of the community, the 'village' atmosphere, the local arts and music scene, the seaside and other parts of the local environment (QE2 Park, escarpment, Whareroa etc).
We love the community and the place. The kaupapa of groups like this trust are inspiring and it's exciting to be living in amongst a group of people who make these ideas realities (as well as the POG group, the radio...). The physical environment is beautiful.
Liberal seaside community, excellent place to raise children, on the train line, affordable (at the time in comparison to buying in Wellington)
The unique combination of a socially and politically Left and inclusive community, and being small and in nature. We wanted to stay close to Wellington. Perfect.
Because I grew up here and my whānau is here
Moved here as a baby
It has everything - the beach, a park, semi-rural, great people and great activities for children and adults.
Thank you so much for sharing this information. We'll be using it to help lay the foundations of the Paekākāriki Housing Trust, which we look forward to discussing with you in the New Year. We'll be following up with you later in January. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact any of the group listed here to talk more.
Many thanks again.