Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities was formed on the first of October 2019 to bring together the people, capability and functions from Housing New Zealand, its development subsidiary HLC, and KiwiBuild. Kāinga Ora is both a public housing landlord and a facilitator of housing and urban development projects. The corporation owns 63,000 homes – that’s one in eight homes nationwide. This figure rises to one in four homes in the areas with the highest concentrations of state housing.

The Brief
Lion’s Share was engaged by Kāinga Ora (which was then Housing New Zealand) in 2018 to:

  • Shift views of state housing from negative (‘not in my backyard’) to neutral or even positive
  • Humanise the Kāinga Ora brand by sharing positive stories about the good work their teams do on the ground every day
  • Demonstrate to the construction industry, political leaders and the NZ public how Kāinga Ora is driving positive change in the construction industry, in terms of innovation, cost, pace, and sustainability

We responded with a communications strategy utilising written and video content to reach target audiences via Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Neighbourly.

Part of the strategy was to use video to tell the stories of some of Kāinga Ora’s tenants. Although we all want more and better state homes for vulnerable Kiwis who need help with housing, Kāinga Ora strikes resistance to its new building projects in some neighbourhoods. We decided to use video storytelling to challenge misconceptions about Kāinga Ora tenants, and show how secure tenure housing helps people not only live decent, dignified lives, but achieve their potential. We called the series ‘Launch Pad’.

Most Kiwis know people who live or have previously lived in state housing. We tapped friends, friends of friends, family members and Kāinga Ora’s tenancy managers to find New Zealanders who were happy to star in a Launch Pad video.

Our first star, Darcy, is the younger brother of a Lion’s Share team member. Darcy’s Kāinga Ora-owned home has given him the stability he needed to attend University while also caring for his Dad who has had a series of strokes.

Another of our stars, Tracy, uses the backyard of her Kainga Ora-owned home to grow a spectacular vegetable garden. She gives the produce to her community, including Women’s Refuge, an organisation that helped her secure the state home she now lives in.

The Outcome

Across all channels, the six Launch Pad videos generated engagement rates between 3-6 times the industry average. Tracey’s video achieved viral momentum, and her story went on to feature in a number of media outlets. During the campaign period, positive audience sentiment on Facebook increased by over 50%.

The findings of the 2019 Colmar Brunton Public Sector Reputation Index and the State Services Commission’s ‘Kiwis Count’ saw Kāinga Ora ranked as the most improved agency in how the public perceives their performance across a range of measures. This is a testament to the great work their people do every day, and their newly-enhanced ability to share their positive stories with New Zealanders.

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