Story: Diverse families

House design for extended families

House design for extended families

In the early 21st century He Kainga Oranga, the Housing and Health Research Programme at the University of Otago in Wellington, worked with members of the Tokelauan community to design low-cost homes for extended families. Community members, researchers, architects from the Wellington School of Art and Design, and Housing New Zealand officials collaborated on the design for 'The Tokelau House'. It can accommodate several sets of families and includes a long, low cooking and eating area with a large forecourt for formal welcomes, which can also be used as a play space for children. The dining area is big enough for a large table that can also be taken outside in good weather. Collaboration on this design included fono (meetings) and interviews with community members. There were also plans for renovating older state houses so that they are better living spaces for Pacific Island extended families.

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How to cite this page:

Rosemary Du Plessis and Candice Diggelmann, 'Diverse families - Extended family and sole-parent households', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 August 2022)

Story by Rosemary Du Plessis and Candice Diggelmann, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 Jun 2018