Babbage a leader in Maori housing design.

September 2016

Babbage has become a leader in designing housing for iwi and hapu in the Bay of Plenty, through its work is on Papakainga Housing.

Babbage principal Frank Cleary, who attended the National Maori Housing Conference in Mount Maunganui - which Babbage helped sponsor - said Babbage had designed about 50 houses on five marae in the region.

It won the NZIA Bay of Plenty Regional Design Award for the first project – 12 houses for kaumatua at Mangatawa, in Papamoa.

“There is an intrinsic desire among Maori, especially kaumatua, to return to live on ancestral land at the marae,” he said.

“Kaumatua who do return are expected to participate in the cultural activities on the marae, and to pass on their knowledge to the younger generation.”

The houses, which range from homes for extended family to two-bedroom homes for kaumatua, incorporate cultural aspects in the design, and for the elders include the usual accessibility features.

The Babbage involvement in the initiative stemmed from an existing relationship with Mangatawa, and we work with the Papakainga Solutions agency on design and costing.

Frank, who has been involved in the housing designs, said the Papakainga projects were something he found especially rewarding.

“The marae environment makes them special,” he said.

“What we’re doing with Papakainga is creating a community on the marae for elders through to the young – a complete cross-section. Every marae has a desire to bring people back to the land.

“It’s rewarding to see the people there and listen to their stories of how Papakainga benefits them.”

Babbage is following up its work on Papakainga Housing by helping sponsor the National Maori Housing Conference in Mount Maunganui.