Horizon State believes the potential of blockchain technology is more than just digital money; it can also enable social good in the community. With this in mind, we’d like to introduce you to a new customer of ours, HLC.
HLC is a New Zealand company working with us to provide ongoing community engagement on a large scale regeneration project in Eastern Porirua, New Zealand. HLC will be conducting person to person interviews with the locals in Eastern Porirua, and using our product on tablets to ensure their thoughts and wishes are securely recorded and that their voice is heard.
What is the project?
The Porirua Development project involves HLC working with the New Zealand Government alongside the community, the Porirua City Council and the local iwi (Maori tribe) Ngāti Toa Rangatira, in Eastern Porirua to:
- Replace older state homes that are past their best with warm, dry modern
homes that are better suited to tenants’ needs
- Create opportunities for home ownership by building affordable homes
(including KiwiBuild) and housing for sale on the open market
- Design better neighborhoods, including improving parks and streets, to make it easier to get around and do business.
The NZ Government is providing funding for the project, which is expected to be spent on making Eastern Porirua a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Some background on Eastern Porirua
Eastern Porirua has one of the highest concentrations of public housing in NZ, with most of these houses built in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of these houses are old, damp and not the size and type that Porirua families most need now, and in the future. Many private rentals are in worse condition, and in both public and private housing in Eastern Porirua there are high levels of housing needs and overcrowding.
Compared to the rest of New Zealand or the Wellington area, Eastern Porirua is very ethnically diverse — with high numbers of people from Pacific and Maori communities alongside Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian groups as well.
This diversity creates a large number of small communities within East Porirua, and means that Horizon State’s platform needs to allow use in multiple languages and be sensitive to social and ethnic considerations.
What the project hopes to achieve
Greater choice of high-quality housing available, including warm and dry houses for Housing New Zealand tenants, in configurations that better fit the needs of modern tenants.
New public housing will be mixed with affordable market housing, creating greater affordable home ownership options for those who want to buy their own home.
New homes will bring new people to the area to invest in and contribute to the community, and the work will help create jobs for locals. The streets, parks and public open spaces near the new housing will be upgraded, to make it easier for people to come together, to get around and to do business. The regeneration work will also provide an opportunity for the community to think about their future education needs.
What problem can Horizon State help with?
HLC wanted to make sure that the community felt engaged, that trust was established between the community and the developers in a secure and provable manner, and that the communities’ vision for their home is taken into account.
In a project of this scope involving so many different people, there can be a perception that the voice of the individual is lost and not counted, and the community of Eastern Porirua had already shown some concern. By this stage, however, HLC had already reached out to us and we had begun formulating an engagement strategy.
How our product can help
HLC is working with Horizon State to assist with its residents’ engagement program of work. This program encompasses multiple channels, engagement mechanisms, research, and analysis. Horizon State will be providing the tools necessary for research, polling, and web-based community engagement.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the plan was the biggest and most ambitious regeneration since Eastern Porirua was built 60 years ago.
“While the revitalisation will be housing-led, we don’t intend to stop there. We want to start a conversation with the Eastern Porirua community about how to unlock the potential for social and economic growth there, and making it an even better place to live, work and raise a family.” — Jacinda Ardern
HLC’s decision to work with Horizon State for this engagement is telling for us in quite a few ways. It shows faith that there is a demand for the kind of product that we are building, it highlights the many unique ways that the product can be used, and it begins to establish a relationship that could see us branching out to other engagement opportunities, like those highlighted by Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern.