Co-hous­ing meet­ing

Waipa Post - - News - BY BETHANY ROL­STON

A dis­cus­sion night in Hamil­ton was a ma­jor mile­stone in a Cam­bridge cou­ple’s mis­sion to build a co­hous­ing com­mu­nity in the Waikato.

Brad White, Vicki Bul­lick and their team — Kirikiriroa In­ten­tional Com­mu­ni­ties — hosted the event at Agora Event Cen­tre. More than 200 peo­ple came, with a queue down the street.

In co-hous­ing, peo­ple typ­i­cally own homes and jointly own the land and shared fa­cil­i­ties.

The idea orig­i­nated in Den­mark in the 1960s and has spread through Eu­rope and North Amer­ica, with pop­u­lar­ity rapidly grow­ing in New Zealand.

The au­di­ence heard from nine guest speak­ers about how co­hous­ing and other mod­els can be vi­able and af­ford­able hous­ing devel­op­ments.

MC, Cam­bridge’s Brad White, said the event aimed to give an in­sight into al­ter­na­tive ways of liv­ing in the Waikato.

“We want to give you a glimpse of con­nected liv­ing and af­ford­abil­ity and how these mod­els of hous­ing can be in­te­grated in any part of any re­gion in New Zealand.”

Guest speaker, Hamil­ton’s Si­mon Perry, chair­man of Perry Group spoke about Te Awa Lakes, a de­vel­op­ment of 1000 homes built on a tri­an­gu­lar block of land which bor­ders the Waikato Ex­press­way and Waikato River.

Of the 1000 houses, 400 will be af­ford­able hous­ing which will need to be be­low the me­dian house price un­der Hamil­ton’s spe­cial hous­ing ar­eas act, if it fol­lows gov­ern­ment stan­dards.

Perry Group also has plans to build a theme park as part of the de­vel­op­ment, with early con­cepts show­ing go-kart­ing and wa­ter ski­ing as just some of the pos­si­ble ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The theme of this is live, work and play,” Si­mon said.

“We’re try­ing to cre­ate a con­nected liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment.” An­other guest speaker was Mark South­combe, se­nior lec­turer at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity of Welling­ton’s School of Ar­chi­tec­ture.

Mark said the idea of col­lec­tive ur­ban hous­ing was spread­ing across New Zealand “like a tsunami”. “There is a cul­tural change. “Younger peo­ple do not think the same way about hous­ing any more — partly be­cause they are dis­en­fran­chised, partly be­cause they don’t want to raise their kids by them­selves.”

Bob­bie Cor­nell and Nicci Ar­mour from CLOSER, an or­gan­i­sa­tion which de­signs and builds af­ford­able liv­ing eco-sys­tems us­ing co-hous­ing meth­ods, spoke about their pilot project in Katikati.

The de­vel­op­ment fea­tures 19 small homes, park­ing, a com­mon house and out­door spa­ces on 0.5ha.

Nicci said there needed to be a cul­tural shift in New Zealand in the way peo­ple build and own houses.

“Do we need to have our own block of land and a house that we 100 per cent own, or can we look at a dif­fer­ent model and re­alise there are ways of thriv­ing out­side that?”

An­other guest speaker was Claire New­man from Christchurch­based Of­fice for Holis­tic Ur­ban­ism (OHU).

OHU is a com­mu­nity-minded project de­vel­op­ment com­pany work­ing with groups of New Zealan­ders to build col­lec­tively-owned build­ings.

“We of­fer tra­di­tional prop­erty de­vel­op­ment ex­per­tise but put com­mu­nity at the heart of all we do,” Claire said.

OHU works with com­mu­ni­ties to de­velop as­sets to sus­tain and strengthen their com­mu­nity and gen­er­ate so­cial, eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial re­turns.

Cam­bridge woman Jess Maugham at­tended the event with her hus­band Dave.

“I thought it was ex­cel­lent,” Jess said.

“I ap­pre­ci­ated the di­ver­sity — it cov­ered a lot more as­pects than I ex­pected, show­ing the idea of co­hous­ing is a lot more com­plex that I re­alised.”

Jess said she was open to the idea of co-hous­ing and con­nected liv­ing in the Waikato.

“We like be­ing chal­lenged and hav­ing our minds broad­ened to see if it’s a good fit for us.”

Jess is a youth pas­tor at Cam­bridge’s Bridges Church, and said her so­cial needs are well met through the church com­mu­nity and her nearby fam­ily.

“Our pri­or­i­ties for join­ing a com­mu­nity like this would be sus­tain­abil­ity, com­mu­nity and cre­ativ­ity — be­ing open­ing to do­ing things out­side of the box.”

Or­gan­iser Vicki Bul­lick, from Kirikiriroa In­ten­tional Com­mu­ni­ties, says she was over­whelmed with the turnout and sup­port.

“The in­ten­tion was to plant seeds and give peo­ple ideas of how liv­ing can be dif­fer­ent, con­nected and af­ford­able. And I think we achieved that.

“We were able to pro­vide stim­u­lat­ing and in­spir­ing con­tent and we hope this is a plat­form to move for­ward from.”

Kirikiriroa In­ten­tional Com­mu­ni­ties is host­ing an in­ten­tional com­mu­nity meet-up on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 8 at 2pm, venue to be con­firmed.

For more in­for­ma­tion find Kirikiriroa In­ten­tional Com­mu­ni­ties on Face­book.

Photo / Bethany Rol­ston

Guest speak­ers talk about how co-hous­ing and other mod­els can be vi­able. From left, Bob­bie Cor­nell and Nicci Ar­mour from CLOSER, Greer O’Don­nell of The Ur­ban Ad­vi­sory, se­nior lec­turer at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity of Welling­ton’s School of Ar­chi­tec­ture Mark South­combe, tiny house ad­vo­cate Belinda Gel­ston, chair­man of Perry Group chair­man Si­mon Perry, Claire New­man from Of­fice for Holis­tic Ur­ban­ism (OHU) and Hamil­ton City Coun­cil plan­ning man­ager Fraser McNutt.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.