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Amplifying the voices of Māngere

Putting the voices of Māngere at the heart of its regeneration is the motivation behind a new initiative being launched by the Māngere Housing Advocacy Group.

Members of the Māngere Housing Advocy Group. L-R: Vicky Hau, Toni Helleur, Tuputau Lelaulu, Sharleen McClay, Harry Fatu Toleafoa, Joanne Latif and Monica Liva. Not pictured: Elisepa Taukolo, Jin Guo, Pania Newton & Peter Stowers.

The group, which was formed in 2019 by Māngere electorate MP Aupito Su’a William Sio to ensure Kāinga Ora was consulting with residents as part of its Māngere Development, will be publishing a series of stories, from interviews with local leaders and residents in our area.

Monica Liva, a long-time Māngere resident and one of the group's members says the stories will highlight the community’s housing aspirations and how Māngere’s long term development plans can prioritise locals needs.

“We need access to home and living environments that are designed with our people’s needs in mind and that starts by putting their perspectives at the centre of any new urban regeneration.”

She says these stories will also enable the group to hold housing authorities accountable and make sure the community is a priority for all housing strategic initiatives.

One of the founding members of the Advocacy Group and member of the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board, Harry Fatu Toleafoa, stresses the importance of addressing systemic issues, stating: "Our focus extends beyond immediate solutions. "We aim to challenge discriminatory housing practices and advocate for policy and engagement changes that will benefit future generations."

Māngere Housing Advocacy Group leader Jo Latif says the purpose of the group has always been to make a lasting impact on the lives of the community,

“Through addressing the area’s immediate housing challenges, we can bring about long-term systemic changes by ensuring the voices of Māngere residents are heard, and their housing rights are protected – and that’s what this project is all about.”

Stay tuned to 275 Times for this monthly housing series.

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