Seminars to explore alternative housing

South Alive Housing Action Group convenor Margaret Cook.

STRAW houses is the first of six alternative housing topics the South Alive Housing Action Group has organised to raise awareness and promote discussions about sustainable homes.

Being held at The Pod, behind The Pantry, on Grace St in South City, the series of seminars would bring knowledgeable speakers from throughout the country to talk about alternative types of homes.

Convener Margaret Cook said the seminars were organised after a member of the community came to South Alive with “this great idea”.

“Most of us know what a conventional New Zealand home looks like… a large, stand-alone house on a suburban section, and a green lawn surrounding it. But are such houses actually suitable for most of us now was the question.

“As South Alive was a community-led organisation, we decided to run with it.”

The first of the free events, straw houses, would be held on Tuesday, with doors opening at 7pm and sessions beginning at 7.30pm.

Architectural designer Jessica Eyers, of Hiberna, Wanaka, who specialised in sustainable construction, would introduce how strawbale construction fitted with the Passive House standard and how New Zealanders were learning to build better, healthier homes.

Due to Alert Level 2 restrictions, there would be limited seating, so bookings were essential, Mrs Cook said.

Tiny houses would be the subject of the October meeting, followed by urban gardening in November, and the sustainably of housing, apartment living and other topics in the new year.

Mrs Cook said she hoped Southland Habitat for Humanity general manager Paul Searancke would speak next year about village life in a modern setting, in reference to the proposed development of the former Kew Bowl cycling track off Elles Rd.

Each free seminar would be held on the third Tuesday of the month, with a festive break in December and January.

  • For more information or to book, phone Claire at South Alive on 3 218 6882 or email

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