Keep the Tiny House build at Gribblehirst Hub

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A request to Phil Goff, mayor of Auckland

Dear Phil Goff, Auckland Mayor, on behalf of the most affected party with the least input into processes and victims of mis-assumptions between a number of parties, I would like to forward you their last attempt to get a positive outcome for the community and themselves. Kind Regards, Ellen Schindler, grassroots member of Gribblehirst Hub I am writing to you today to share with you the issues we are encountering on a community project at the Hub Gribblehirst. As a volunteer at For the love of bees, the Men's shed, and Generation zero I have been intensely involved in community lead actions for more than a year. That's why when my wife and I came up with the idea of building a Tiny house on wheels, we thought it would be a good thing to involve the community in the project and give back to people by providing a chance to learn and experiment with our project. That's how we got in touch with the Hub Gribblehirst and the Men's shed Auckland Central. We were offered the Hub trustees to build the house on the old bowling green in front of the building. They own the lease of this Auckland Council land, and are trying to start a few community led projects on this space (community garden, makers space, bike repair workshop, and many more). The objective discussed with the Hub was to involve the community with a few workshop on DIY and tiny house building, and share our journey on their blog. Everything was stopped pretty quickly after the first workshop when a notice from Auckland council was sent to the Hub requiring to stop the work on the tiny house and for us to leave the premises. The reasons later mentioned were that - such structure required land owner approval (even though it is movable and following the light trailer rules and regulations of NZ transport agency), - it was for personal use (such as everything else produced by Shed or Hub members following knitting or wood workshop) - it was a recreational activity conducted on reserve land which is prohibited by the reserve act (the rugby field next to us is also on reserve land, how is this not recreational?) Following this notice, I stopped all work on the Tiny House, despite what the council officer has declared in this Stuff article: and was ordered to leave The Hub by the 23rd of April which is next Tuesday. I have found a great place to finish building my tiny house, but I think it is a shame that I cannot go to the end of this community project, in particular for all the community around us that is very supporting, as you can see in the petition attached which gathered hundreds of signatures within 2 days. I do not understand the decision of Auckland council to oust us while we were trying to provide the community with a chance to learn and engage, as well as start a discussion around housing in Auckland. As we are going through this huge housing crisis where we see leaky homes being sold for close to a million dollar, how a well insulated 20 sqm house built for less than 80000 dollars would not be part of the solution? My hope is that we could sit down with Auckland Council and understand what they disagree with, and how we could make this work to keep this community project at the Hub. I am willing to stop the work on the house for a few days while this conversation happens if I am allowed to stay past Tuesday 23rd of April. If the process cannot halted we have to spend our Easter weekend in making the trailer and TinyHouse NZTA safe and roadworthy. I wish you a great Easter weekend Best regards, Thomas Hernandez and Caroline Bresson

Ellen Schindler
3 years ago