Women Revolutionising Housing

We are a flaxroots movement and a network of diverse women working for housing systems change and catylising positive local housing and community projects that are better for people and planet


Why the need for a revolution

Quality housing is the foundation of human thriving, yet Aotearoa is suffering a crisis of housing that is undermining the thriving of our people and planet.  Women are fed up with seeing the well-being and potential of their children, communities, future generations, and the earth being compromised by low quality, expensive, and insecure housing.  


Women are rising up around the country, in rural areas, towns and cities, of all ages, to create local and country-wide changes to the way we do housing.  But most women are working in isolation, with limited resources, and within a system that does not acknowledge or support community-led, non-speculative housing. 


This network is about the power we have when we dream, work, and share together. 


This movement is about creating the kinds of homes, neighbourhoods and communities that are values-oriented around: social connection, care for the earth and our environment, nourishment, honouring of culture, inclusion, diversity, affordability, generosity, and wellbeing.

Herstory of the movement & network


Since mid-2020, Zola Rose of Common Ground has been convening online networking sessions with women who identify as leaders or catalysts of innovative collective housing, intentional community, ecovillage projects--from those with just an idea to those who have completed or live in collective housing.  The sessions are time for sharing inspiration, advice, and resources, exploring new paradigms, and supporting each other's missions.


In early 2021, Zola put out the call to gather together to grow our individual and collective capacity for doing this extraordinary work which is at the flaxroots level with local projects and global level for systems change.


We gathered from 8-10 June 2021 at Tauhara Centre in Taupo, Aotearoa New Zealand for a retreat-hui.  The event was co-created with topics and programme from those that would be attending. 


Women from ages 22-83, far north to far south, Māori and Pakeha, novices to experts, participated and led parts of the programme.  Sponsorships were sought so it could be inclusive of diversity and affordable. 


The event was nourishing for the mind, body and spirit and incorporated the elementals of Water for emotion and going-with-the-flow; Air for expanding our minds, connecting conversation and inspiring talks; Earth for grounding into Earth/Papatuanuku and for nourishing food and connections; and Fire for ingiting our passions and purpose with positive energy.

Our crowd-sourced discussion topics 

These topics were co-generated before and during the event with the participants using the "open space technology" method.  Women either led a topic on which they were an expert or joined a topic to learn something new.

  • Starting Community

  • Power & Leadership

  • How to create safe, inclusive, diverse “spaces”

  • Papakāinga

  • Pro-Social

  • Co-Designing methods

  • Developer (Business) working together with community-focused housing group

  • Savings Pools

Taking the revolution forward

In order to make successful systems change and take this housing revolution forward, we discussed what was needed for us individually, as a collective, and next steps.  The following topics were explored using "world cafe" style.

  • Regional Togetherness

  • Process of Revolution

  • Systems change and a new vision

  • Structures for our movement

  • Instant next steps

  • Resourcing ourselves

Reflections and insights

Some selections from the 33 participants


This event was a powerful catalyst for women to be able to step into their own power and leadership within the movement and for their specific projects, to receive confirmation and support for their dreams, and to be inspired and encouraged by what others have already done. 

What valuable insights did you gain from others?

How has the way you see/ understand yourself and your project shifted?

How did this retreat serve you beyond the 'content/ service' part?

What does a transformed housing system look like in Aotearoa (your ideal)?

Calling upon our leaders - what are the three things you think they should do (to achieve the above)?

What have you committed to going forward?

Join us!

We are just starting out and gaining momentum as a collective of Women Revolutionising Housing.  Sign up below to be a part of this movement and this amazing network of women.


We have lots of ideas of what and how we can 1) empower and resource ourselves, 2) serve our communities with our housing & community project ideas, 3) revolutionise the whole system country-wide.


What's currently happening (or starting soon) within the network

  • Fortnightly Zoom networking circles to learn from others, network, get feedback and support for your own project
  • Facebook page, Messenger, and Whatsapp communication groups
  • Small working groups and regional groups are forming for the various ideas generated during the retreat-hui (see above)
  • Planning for the next retreat-hui
  • Savings Pool group for members
  • Network for those seeking to live in intentional community or better housing

Thank you to the Sponsors


Their combined donation of $3500

helped make the event

accessible to 12 women

and provide participant and convener gifts

Common Ground 

Whakatū/Nelson, Aotearoa/New Zealand│Director, Zola Rose (027) 449-0422kiaora@commonground.net.nz

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