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Christchurch, New Zealand

February 9, 2013 to February 22, 2013

There is nowhere else in the world like New Zealand, and there is no better way to see and experience a culture and natural environment world-renowned for its beauty than working alongside local families helping to build their new homes!



About New Zealand

New Zealand is located in Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia. It is a country of rare seismic beauty, from its mountain glaciers and fast-flowing rivers to deep, clear lakes and hissing geysers. Its islands offer abundant forest reserves, deserted beaches that stretch for miles and a variety of unique wildlife, such as the kiwi bird.

Not everyone is able to enjoy the country’s beauty, however. As New Zealand land prices and the cost of daily living continue to increase at a great rate, the dream of homeownership is sadly one that fewer and fewer New Zealand families are achieving. A 2008 study by Demographia International found that New Zealand has some of the least affordable housing in the developed world, and it is estimated that 29 percent of households that rent in New Zealand suffer from housing-related stress. The high cost of housing keeps families in a cycle of poverty, as little money is left for food, clothing, health care, education or income generation.

About Habitat for Humanity New Zealand
To combat these problems, HFH New Zealand began working with families in 1993. The first New Zealand house was built by our Franklin affiliate (now part of the Greater Auckland affiliate) in Pukekohe in 1993. Today, Habitat for Humanity has 12 affiliate offices throughout New Zealand, and has helped give more than 300 families a hand up into their own home.

Recently, HFH New Zealand initiated a housing project in partnership with a local Maori tribe and the New Zealand government. The Maori tribe provides land, and Habitat and the government share in providing the funds to build houses. HFH New Zealand has a “house-for-a-house” tithe policy where, for every house built in the country, a similar amount is sent to a developing country.

For more information, read New Zealand’s country profile or visit

Christchurch affiliate
The Christchurch affiliate is in the process of building on a four-home subdivision in Kaiapoi, a small town just north of Christchurch. The involvement of Global Village teams will provide a welcome acceleration of this program at a time when the people of Christchurch face enormous challenges.

Large areas of Christchurch were devastated by the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011. In response, New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure and housing rebuild project is under way and expected to continue for another decade. In addition to our Kaiapoi builds, Habitat for Humanity is engaged in a program to repair quake-damaged homes for vulnerable families throughout Christchurch, including our Habitat-owned homes in east Christchurch.

Christchurch remains a major tourism gateway. At the center of the South Island, Christchurch provides convenient driving access to attractions ranging from towering mountains and glaciers to golden beaches. The grandeur of the Southern Alps is just an hour’s drive across the Canterbury Plains. Christchurch is nestled against Banks Peninsula, an area of secluded coves, ancient extinct volcanoes and hospitable hamlets. Local attractions include opportunities to get up close to New Zealand’s unique and endangered flightless birds such as the kiwi and takahe and the ever-curious mountain parrot, the kea.

Standard itinerary
(14 day itinerary)

Day 1 (Saturday, February 9): Depart for New Zealand.
Day 2 (Sunday, February 10): Travel day.
Day 3 (Monday, February 11) Arrival in Christchurch, greeted by HFH Christchurch affiliate staff; ground transportation to host program; check in to lodging; welcome and orientation.
Days 4-7 (Tuesday-Friday, February 12 - 15) Workdays: Breakfast; work from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with tea breaks and lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner and time for team activities.
Days 8-9 (Saturday -Sunday, February 16 - 17): Free day; cultural activities.
Days 10-13 (Monday-Thursday, February 18 - 21) Workdays: Breakfast; work from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with tea breaks and lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner and time for team activities.
Day 13 (Thursday, February 21): Dedication and farewell ceremony; final team dinner.
Day 14 (Friday, February 22): Depart for home.

Team members should expect to stay at a local motel or hostel with team members sharing double- or triple-occupancy rooms. Breakfast is provided at motel or hostel and lunch will be provided on the work site. Dinner is taken at various restaurants or planned with the local community.

Program cost
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leader - William Ryder
Will Ryder loves the outdoors, traveling and volunteering so leading a GV trip to New Zealand was a natural fit. Will has been an active volunteer with Habitat over the past 15 years and is constantly inspired by volunteer crews, Habitat families and staff.

Will hopes to pull together a diverse team of open-minded individuals who value a cultural learning experience and are capable of maintaining a positive outlook, and a strong sense of adventure. Please email Will with any questions you may have about the build at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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