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Women To Build House For Charity

Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Helen Clark will begin work tomorrow (Saturday 11 November) on the first Habitat for Humanity house to be built entirely by women. But she won’t be alone.

More than 150 women will gather in Manakau Auckland to build what is believed to be the first house in New Zealand built entirely by women.

Habitat for Humanity, a worldwide charity, is bringing together the volunteers to build two houses in Manukau in partnership with two disadvantaged families. The families help build the houses, and then buy them at no-profit with interest free loans.

The volunteers come from every walk of life and include New Zealand’s first female Master Builder, a master of architecture, Shortland Street stars and 20 volunteers who have flown in from the USA to participate in the build.

Women Build 2000, which has been planned, organised and managed completely by women volunteers, has received strong support from New Zealand companies.

The completion of the houses on Friday 17 November will be celebrated with a luncheon that will be attended by all the volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity project co-ordinator Rose Christensen says the event recognises the fact that sub-standard housing affects more women than men. The Women Build signals the determination of women in this country to solve this problem.

“Women tend to be the primary care-givers of children and still have lower average wages, leading to a generally lower income environment, especially in the case of single parents.

“The effort women are putting into the Women Build affirms the fact that helping people in need to build simple, decent homes, not only build stronger communities, but also builds better lives for the children involved.”

Ms Christensen says the Build also turns a lot of stereotypes on their heads.

“While women in New Zealand hold some of the most senior roles in the country, the building industry is still a male stronghold. However, this Build will illustrate how many women are working within the building industry. This will also, hopefully, encourage more young women to consider a career in the building industry.”

Habitat for Humanity acknowledges that the build would not have been possible without the support of Dulux, Diamond Roofing, James Hardie, Juken Nissho-Tri Board, Phillips Lighting, Nu Look Joinery, Frucor Beverages and Century 21.

* * * *

Photo opportunity: 2pm Saturday 11 November 2000, Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Helen Clark will write a message of greeting to the volunteers on a wall within the house before helping the builders out. The houses are on Trevor Hoskin Drive, Wiri, Manakau.

For further information, contact:

Rose Christensen Grant Cathro
Project Co-ordinator Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity
Ph: (09) 270 0930 Ph 021 661 943
E-mail: deb.rose@ihug.co.nz

Or
Chris Lamers
021 661 065

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