Australian blockchain project Horizon State will help gather ongoing community feedback for the NZ Government’s ambitious $1.5B eastern Porirua redevelopment.
The massive 25-year long project aims to revitalise the eastern Porirua area by redeveloping 2900 state houses (with a net 150 home increase) and building around 2,000 affordable KiwiBuild and market homes
Horizon State will work with Housing New Zealand subsidiary HLC on an ongoing community engagement program that includes a variety of channels and mechanisms for research and analysis.
Horizon State (which considers itself Australian despite being headquartered in NZ) will provide the tools necessary for research, polling, and web-based community engagement.
Person to person interviews recorded on blockchain
HLC will conduct person to person interviews with local residents, recording their thoughts and preferences securely using Horizon State products on a tablet.
The government has already promised that eligible Porirua residents will be given priority balloting when selecting who can buy KiwiBuild homes.
Controversy over a lack of consultation
The project has already attracted controversy in New Zealand with the Housing Action Porirua community group complaining of a lack of consultation, the privatisation of public land and a lack of new state homes.
“There needs to be more engagement, more representation and there should’ve been community engagement prior to the base plan being made,” the group said in an open letter to Housing Minister Phil Twyford republished by the NZ Herald in late May.
Many stakeholders make consultation hard work
Horizon State faces a big task on that front, given there are so many different stakeholders and the area is one of the most ethnically diverse in New Zealand.
It includes Pacific and Maori communities alongside Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian groups.
HS’s platform will need to be available in multiple languages and sensitive to social and ethnic considerations.
Old and damp homes in disrepair
Eastern Porirua has one of the highest concentrations of public housing in the country and pockets of economic disadvantage.
Many of the homes were built in the ’60s and ’70s and are cold and damp, with many private homes also in a state of disrepair.
The Porirua Development aims to provide high quality, warm and dry housing for Housing New Zealand tenants in configurations better suited to the needs of modern tenants
Public housing will be mixed with affordable market housing, streets, parks, and public open spaces will be upgraded, and educational and employment opportunities actively considered.
PM Jacinda Ardern promised a ‘conversation’
Announcing the project late last year Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised the government wanted to: “Start a conversation with the Eastern Porirua community about how to unlock the potential for social and economic growth there, and making it an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”
Announcing the engagement, Horizon State said:
“It shows faith that there is a demand for the kind of product that we are building, it highlights the many unique ways that the product can be used, and it begins to establish a relationship that could see us branching out to other engagement opportunities, like those highlighted by Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern.”