On April 28th 2021 the Social Change Collective Auckland team held our second event for the year “The Inequalities of the Housing Crisis - What’s the best way forward?”. This issue we are facing is being seen increasingly in the media, talked to by our politicians and felt by more and more people in Aotearoa.
We were very lucky to have three amazing speakers come in and educate our audience on the mechanisms behind the crisis, the factors that need to be considered and helped us to rethink solutions going forward. Our first speaker of the night was Shamubeel Eaqub.
Shamubeel is from Sense Partners and has a huge background in economics, particularly the housing crisis. Shaumbeel discussed the increasing gap we are seeing in Aotearoa - the K Economy as he describes it. He discussed housing as a basic human right and the core of the issue being the lack of housing that we/the government are building - and how the number of houses have not increased, nor changed to suit the needs of the people today.
Next up we had Dr Andrew Cardow who is a senior lecturer at Massey University. Andrew took us back to where the housing crisis originated, which is argues is not a crisis but instead a crisis of inaction. The reason we are in this situation right now is going right back to the way Aotearoa was settled and it was all to do with land. Buying your own piece of land, owning your own piece of land. This idea that we need to own a property to be successful, drives this housing crisis. Instead of re-looking at the renting market, re-looking at the quality of rentals, the long term security of rentals and how society views “ownership” and the term “home”.
Our final speaker of the evening was Graham Tipene, Ngāti Whatua. Graham addressed the fact that we and the governments cannot view the housing crisis and homelessness outside of the context of colonisation and intergeneration trauma. Graham told powerful pūrakau (stories) of the injustices Māori have faced on their own whenua (land). Graham spoke to what amazing work Ngāti Whatua has done in creating a papa kāinga for their people to ensure the people have somewhere to call home. He also spoke to the poor renting conditions provided by Kaingaora/Housing NZ and how solutions for the housing crisis do not lie outside of addressing colonisation and intergenerational trauma.
The event was a huge success and we believe our audience walked away with a great deal of knowledge and a new perspective to view the crisis.
We had 3 key actions:
Following pages that are working towards battling homelessness and the housing crisis such as Housing First NZ
Reading Shaumbeel Equal’s book “Generation Rent” to understand the economics behind the crisis and to begin rethinking your own perspective on home ownership
Researching and educating yourselves on colonisation, intergeneration trauma and the real history of Aotearoa - understanding how we cannot view this crisis outside of this context