Speed-Dating for a Better Whare

More than a dozen whānau in Murihiku have safer and warmer homes after a day of speed dating with builders, insulators, roofers and finance experts.

Published: Rāapa, 27 Mahuru, 2017 | Wednesday, 27 September 2017

In the deep South, winter temperatures can average around 5 degrees and winds are notoriously wild. So keeping whānau warm and dry, especially our youngest and our oldest, is of critical importance to health and well-being.

In 2016, Te Puni Kōkiri reached out to Awarua Synergy, an organisation that has helped over 7,000 families improve their homes in the past 10 years. 

Since then, a series of workshops have been held that have improved whānau understanding of housing issues and increased home maintenance knowledge.

A total of 31 building assessments were completed within Murihiku, including in Bluff, Gore, Invercargill and Mataura.

Ten whānau have had repairs done to their home, eight whānau required insulation and five whānau needed better heating too.

The first series of home maintenance workshops followed a speed-dating format, with whānau going from date to date with experts in finance, plumbing and roofing, two builders and insulation and heating.

Another round of workshops focused on developing their whānau 10-year home maintenance programme.

The tool used was the Path Planning tool, facilitated by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Whānau Ora navigators.

Miriama Uamaki was pleased when she managed to patch up a hole in the wall at her home after attending the Invercargill maintenance workshop.

Other feedback from attendees included praise and support for the workshops.

"Awesome - hopefully saved $30,000, thanks heaps," says one participant.

“I enjoyed the workshop – it helped me move forward in a positive way, that fixing my home is not impossible,” a participant says.

“Thoroughly enjoyed it. Opened by eyes to what I can achieve,” another participant says.

Awarua Synergy General Manager Sumaria Beaton says these workshops have been very successful.

“Both series of workshops have had excellent feedback and a further series is in the planning for other regions in Te Waipounamu,” she says.

She says the outcome of these workshops has enabled whānau to both develop and take ownership of their particular 10-year home maintenance plan.