Dome Houses on papakainga whenua in the Hokianga

Feb. 1, 2022, 8:55 a.m.

Through gravel roads and upon a range of hills in the Hokianga is a pair of siblings that are building a dome house from the ground up - including concrete floors, which happens to be the most expensive part of the building materials.

Dome Houses are commonly seen in countries where there is typhoon weather, hurricanes and earthquakes.

They were introduced into the housing market as a unique niche style because of their shape and structure but other benefits of this type of house is that the cost of building is significantly less than a traditional wooden house in New Zealand, the insulation is efficient and the costs of energy per year is lower than a standard home.

The ranges it’s situated on looks out to the Hokianga harbour from the northern hills that stand above Whirinaki, a small settlement just a short driving distance from Opononi.

The winds are so strong that the dome houses seemed a perfect match for the people who occupy this papakainga after their cabin blew away and was damaged beyond repair.

The dome houses don’t currently have council approval and consents are something that haven’t been done in the past for the type of home they are building. “So for these - no one’s built one of these in New Zealand so that’s a big - not a concern, a big issue because no one’s built one there’s kind of no standards around these buildings. So for us our biggest goal now is getting this done, what we call is our prototype” Harriet says that it’s still a process they’re working through.

Her and her brother, George Brown, aren’t looking at building a dome houses business but rather teaching others so they can learn to build their own dome houses.

Tags: Harriet Brown

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