Te Aro Pā papakāinga took centre stage during Architecture Week in Wellington on Wednesday.

Te Aro Pā papakāinga

The Evans Bay development was lauded as a model of how affordable housing could, and should, be done, at a discussion panel organised by PrefabNZ. The project, completed earlier this year, was a colaboration led by Te Tumu Paeroa working with the owners of Te Aro Pā, which resulted in the development of 14 new affordable homes.

The panel included Scott Figenshow (Community Housing Aotearoa), Alison Cadman (Dwell Housing Trust), Te Aro Pā papakāinga architect Roger Walker, Richard Wickens (Te Tumu Paeroa), and Te Aro Pā trustee Holden Hohaia. It attracted a full house at the City Gallery.

Richard Wickens oversaw the development of Wellington's first urban papakāinga as Te Tumu Paeroa’s Business Relationship Consultant. He saw the panel as a great opportunity to discuss the value of working alongside the Te Aro Pā trustees to help create the papakāinga.

“The high level of capability of the [Te Aro Pā] trustees was so important in making this project happen. The commercial knowledge they brought to the table made it so much easier – understanding all the implications of financing, dealing with grant monies, the building process and so on” says Richard.

With the affordability of housing being a hot topic at the moment, Richard also saw the benefit of discussing the papakāinga in front of an audience of architects and architecture students.

“It’s good to get the chance to present Te Aro Pā to architects in particular. There are a number of challenges in building housing and making it affordable. Many of the solutions to overcome these problems will come from them.

Richard agrees with comments made by fellow panelist Scott Figenshow, that this is a model of how affordable housing can be done.

“There’s been a lot of lessons come out of this project and now there’s a template for doing future projects.”