Women teaming up to work on climate safe house project

Otago Polytechnic will be celebrating girl power at this year's Home and Living Show, as female apprentices and tradies collaborate to put together the country's first climate safe house.

The project is a partnership between the polytechnic and Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, and has attracted several sponsors in the community.

Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker said he hoped by using a team of women the polytechnic would encourage other women to enter the trades.

Enjoying the occasion are (from left, back)   Denise Tetlow, from uPVC Windows and Doors, and...
Enjoying the occasion are (from left, back) Denise Tetlow, from uPVC Windows and Doors, and Aotea Electrical electrician Tania Watson; (front) apprentices and tradeswomen Charmaine Helm (Aotea), Annie Blakey (Placemakers), project manager Renee Gordon, Hannah Middleton (Aotea), TJ Daly (Cook Brothers Construction), construction manager Becky Thompson (Naylor Love), Anna Winskill-Moore (Osborn Brothers Building), Jill Marsh (Resene), and painter Beathe Corneliusson (Decorating Services).

"Dunedin is entering a building boom and requires a large and diverse pool of tradespeople to draw from.


"There's no doubt at all that we are going to need women to take up a whole range of trades."

Much of the team was made up of polytechnic graduates and students, but polytechnic deputy chief executive in charge of sustainability Megan Gibbons said other female tradies were also involved.

Some apprentices who would help assemble the home had come through other industry training organisations.

The climate safe house, a 60sqm, one-bedroom eco-friendly home, will be elevated about 1.2m above the high tide mark.

It will be assembled at Forsyth Barr Stadium during the home show on November 2-3, before being moved to and eventually completed at a Waitati site, providing a transportable home for a Blueskin community member whose home became uninhabitable after repeated flooding.

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust project manager Renee Gordon said about 14 women were involved in the construction of the house, including plumbers, builders, electricians, roofers, carpenters and window installers.

"It's amazing. I'm a coastal scientist and this is quite dear to my heart because of climate change.

"It's great to see such an awesome group of people [get involved]. Everyone's put their heart and soul into it."

The construction will be managed by Becky Thompson, from Naylor Love.

The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust is leasing the property in order to build the house and will sublet the house to the property owner at a "peppercorn rental", removing it when flooding becomes too extreme.

Trust manager Scott Willis said the home would hopefully be the first of many, and a blueprint for better builds.

- Photo by Stephen Jaquiery

Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter