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Close to Home is a tenants news letter supported by Housing New Zealand. Read about local communities, recipes, tips, advice and staying safe around the home

And the best bit? You can leave comments and suggestions below articles to help us get it right.

We want to hear from you
Are there things you would like to read about in Close to Home? Let us know if you have any story ideas or household tips that we could share with our readers.

Do you have stories about fellow tenants that are great gardeners or do good work in your community? We would love to hear about them.

If you have a tip for removing mould, you guessed it, let us know!


Published: 2018-04-27
Modelling mental health small

Every morning Housing New Zealand tenant Glenn Williams gets up, makes his coffee and heads off to work for eight hours a day.

‘Work’ for Glenn is recreating history, and in a room of his state house in New Lynn he carefully works on historical models, sometimes three at a time, with each model taking up to six months to complete.

Published: 2018-01-11
Emergency 111 image

Emergencies can happen anywhere, any time and without warning.

Make sure you and the people you care about are ready to get through by knowing the different ways to stay informed.

Published: 2017-12-18
Better together Dixon Street cropped

Case manager Sara Calman with tenants Koha, Helen and Daniel.

A shared cup of tea ends up in a weekly café at the Dixon Street Flats.

Like a lot of great ideas, the idea to start a communal café at the Dixon Street Flats was thought of over a cup of tea.

Published: 2017-10-12
Terrance King cropped

Auckland tenant Terrence King is absolutely rapt with his new Housing New Zealand home, after some really hard years sleeping rough in bus shelters and on the street, and, most recently, living in a cold and damp garage in West Auckland.

Before moving into his new Housing New Zealand home in the Auckland suburb of Meadowbank, Terrence says his health was getting worse. “Most of my benefit was being spent on day-to-day survival, which left little else for finding a permanent home, looking after my health and finding a job.”

Published: 2017-09-25
Stroke signs

Around 24 New Zealanders will have a stroke today.

If someone has a stroke, it means something has stopped the normal flow of blood to their brain. This can occur when a blood vessel in their brain bursts or becomes blocked by a blood clot.

Published: 2017-08-28
The Corbetts cropped

Twenty-seven-year-old Te Aorangi Corbett can barely articulate how she felt when she moved into her new, two-bedroom home in Waterview's Torea Place late last year.

Te Aorangi spent some time in emergency housing and then most recently three years in an old state house in New Lynn before being allocated a new house in Waterview.

Published: 2017-08-21
Baby Teeth Matter 260x260

Caring for baby teeth can help your child to eat and sleep well.

Problems with baby teeth can cause your child pain and can lead to problems with their adult teeth.

Last year, many Kiwi kids had their teeth pulled out.

Published: 2017-06-26
HNZ floorplan for website

In the last 2 years Housing New Zealand have upgraded many homes to improve the lives of their tentants.

Every household releases around 8 litres of moisture into the home every day from activities like cooking, showering and breathing.

The more mositure there is in the air, the harder and more expensive it is to heat.

Here are some simple things yo can do to help reduce moisture, making it easier to heat your home.

Published: 2017-06-07
Recipe winner sm

Takes about 25 min prep time and 45 min to bake.

Winner of the Close to Home recipe competition in the ‘dessert recipe’ section. This recipe is truly delicious, thank you to Vivienne Esray Greenfields for sending it in.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, grease a 20 x 20cm cake tin and line with grease proof paper...

Published: 2017-03-20
Spanish beef and rice SM

Serves 6 people

This dish uses only 450 grams of beef mince to feed 6 people, and like most one pan dishes it’s easy to prepare.

In a large frying pan add the mince and cook, pressing with a potato masher until crumbled. Add the onion, garlic and celery if using, and cook gently till soft. Add the cumin and Mexican seasoning and mix well.

6 Mar
Published: 2017-03-06
Wai Wise sm

Did you know that the wai is the Maori word for water?

Sometimes this can be a big problem, particularly in the dry summer months as places like the Hawkes Bay risk running out of water. The good news is it’s really easy to avoid wasting water. Teach your family to be wai-wise and help make sure there’s plenty of water for everyone this year.

Published: 2017-02-20
Easy Chicken Coconut curry SM

Serves 6 people, takes 30 to 40 minutes to make.

This fragrant curry is quick and easy to make. Use lite coconut cream if you prefer and add fresh or frozen vegetables to the curry when it's simmering – green beans or spinach work well. Serve with rice.

Place the chicken, onion, apple, chutney, curry powder, tomato paste and seasoned tomatoes in a medium saucepan...

Published: 2017-02-10
Vera Vegetable Garden sm

SUMMER CROPS ARE IN: Vera Marshall’s tomato plants are in and looking good. Her four children are now adults but, as a solo mum, she always grew vegetables to help sustain her family.

Papakura’s Vera Marshall may rent her Housing New Zealand home, but the house-proud 54-year-old treats the property like she owns it.

In the three years she’s lived there, she has transformed the garden from tidy but bare, to a suburban oasis boasting a vegetable garden, ornaments and a colourful array of flowers.

Published: 2017-01-30
Summer keep youself safety sm

Here are a couple of things to help you keep safe around the home during summer...

  • Keep yourself safe at home
  • Don’t make it easy for burglars
  • Medicines, chemicals and cleaners
  • It’s cool to be cool...
  • Don’t add to the Heat
  • Who to call in emergencies
  • Within arm’s reach
  • Keep yourself safe From fire

Published: 2017-01-20
Shared tea sm

A shared tea for tenants of 18 recently completed Housing New Zealand homes in the Auckland suburb of Otahuhu went down a treat last month.

With help from colleagues, Housing New Zealand Community Development Manager Karen Allen organised the event to officially welcome the tenants to their new homes.

“Getting everyone together to mix, mingle and share some food is a great way to introduce people to their neighbours and create a sense of community,” Karen says.