Housing New Zealand wins Australasian Housing Awards
Housing New Zealand’s Canterbury team has taken two top spots in the New Zealand section of this year’s Australasian Housing Institute Awards.
The annual Awards recognise social housing success stories in New Zealand and Australian professional practice, with the aim of highlighting the difference social housing professionals make to people's lives.
At a ceremony held in Wellington last Thursday, Housing New Zealand’s Canterbury team were joint winners with Christchurch City Council of the AHI Professional Excellence in Housing - Outstanding Achievement Award in New Zealand 2011-2012 in recognition of their positive impact on Christchurch’s social housing sector.
In addition, Housing New Zealand also won the AHI Professional Excellence in Housing - Leading Practice Award in New Zealand 2011-2012 award for the organisation’s efforts helping clients following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The Australasian Awards will be drawn from the winners in each jurisdiction and presented during the Australian National Housing Conference later this year.
Housing New Zealand General Manager Tenancy Services, Kay Read, said the last 18 months had been an endurance test for the Canterbury team but they had consistently performed at the top of their game despite, in many cases, being personally affected by the earthquakes.
Approximately 95 percent of the Corporation’s 6,127 Christchurch properties had suffered some form of damage following the earthquakes, Ms Read said.
“Housing New Zealand’s initial response from the beginning was to ensure tenant wellbeing, and staff from around the country immediately travelled to Christchurch to help following the first shake. We checked properties in the worst effected areas and undertook urgent health and safety repairs to quickly re-house tenants whose homes had become unsafe.”
Ms Read said as well as taking care of tenants, Housing New Zealand had developed and led the Civil Defence temporary accommodation service to match around 300 people with offers of private accommodation both locally and around the country.
She said staff had returned early from their Christmas holidays to assist after the 23 December aftershock “at a time when many team members had loved ones injured in the earthquakes and major damage to their own homes.
“That they displayed such professionalism underlines their commitment to their work and tenants, and I’m delighted the team’s efforts have been recognised by this significant award,” Ms Read said. Last year Housing New Zealand’s Healthy Housing programme also took out the Institute’s Leading Practice Award for Professional Excellence in Housing.
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