Te Mātāwai in central Auckland is not only the largest public housing development in Aotearoa New Zealand but also the first providing single site supported housing where residents have access to around the clock, on-site support services.

Glen says even after only living at Te Mātāwai for 3 months having onsite support services is already making a difference for him.

“I haven’t worked for 16 years because of health issues and I find the wrap around supportive environment that Te Mātāwai provides is moving me to a place where I am healthier and am now actively looking for work.”

We also asked Glen what else he likes about living at Te Mātāwai.

Glen getting ready for a bike ride

“My new apartment is so modern and warm, and I feel the warmth every time I walk in the front door. What I also think is special about living here is the narrative gifted by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for the site. Learning about some of the early history of the area including the Waihorotiu Stream which runs close to Te Mātāwai is something that I am really enjoying learning more about too.”

“As I don’t own a car the location in the heart of the city means all the activities, I like doing are right on my doorstep. I can walk down Greys Ave to the Town Hall to enjoy a free concert and over to Wynyard Quarter. I can also visit all the amazing local parks that are near to here. As someone who has cycled all his life Glen says he has a place to safely store his bike and use it when he needs it. “In addition to using my bike for practical reasons like shopping I also enjoy taking the local bike paths to places like Maungawhau and the esplanade under the harbour bridge.”

Glen says he is a person who likes to be involved particularly if it benefits himself as well as others. “I’m enjoying the many onsite activities for residents and have joined the resident’s group. As a musician, I’m enjoying the singing and kapa haka group and in the future I’m keen to learn Te Reo.”

“As exercise is such an important part of my life I have also joined other residents on day trips. We don’t know where we are going until we arrive and a trip to Muriwai was one of my favourites. We were out in the fresh air and got to see the gannets and I also enjoyed some really good exercise while we were there,” Glen says.

Way to go Glen and thanks for sharing with us what it’s been like for you living at Te Mātāwai. We look forward to catching up with you again next year to see how things are going.

More about Te Mātāwai

  • At the Te Mātāwai complex, there are 3 tower blocks of between 9 and 13 storeys high.
  • All 276 homes are built to Homestar 7 standard, meaning they will be warmer, healthier and more energy efficient for customers and their whanau.
  • About 60% of the units are also either accessible or universally designed and have been recognised with Lifemark ratings of 3 or 4.
  • As well as the common accessibility features such as level access, wide doors and shower rooms, a number of the units have additional features such as benches that are able to be raised and lowered, side opening ovens and lower shelving to allow people in wheelchairs to live independently.
  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei also gifted an overarching narrative for the site which was used as a base to design the building. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei designers also worked alongside the construction design team to input into the design ensuring the design followed Te Aranga design and bought the narrative alive.
  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei also gifted the name of the complex - Te Mātāwai and gifted the names for the three tower blocks that make up Te Mātāwai - Waitapu, Waiora and Wainui.

Media Contact

Page updated: 4 December 2023