A new online competition is seeking to find Wellington's worst rental property from the past five years.
Advocacy group A City For People created the competition, a tongue-in-cheek play on the reality TV Series America's Next Top Model.
To enter, people need to complete a form online, answer a few questions and then submit a photo of their flat to prove it is the mouldiest and most unliveable.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $610 - the current median weekly rent in Wellington (as of April 2021).
But City For People spokesperson Marko Garlick said the real purpose of the competition is much more serious, wanting to highlight the lack of affordable, well-maintained places to rent in the city.
He said they also want to give a voice to people that aren't usually heard.
"With this competition we are trying to centre the voices of people that aren't maybe profiled traditionally."
It coincides with a petition organised by A City For People, Generation Zero and Renters United.
The petition is calling on Wellington City Council to change parts of its 30-year spatial plan that will be finalised in June.
The changes include increased density in the city, reducing the proposed character home protections and universal requirements to make new housing more accessible.
"We want to highlight to the councillors, many of whom own their own home and don't really understand the true realities of renting in Wellington, to vote for an ambitious spatial plan," Garlick said.
Renters United spokesperson Ashok Jacob said the competition was a fun way to expose a serious problem.
"All you have to do is look at the statistics of people who are being hospitalised and becoming ill every year from living in sub-standard housing to see the scale of the issue."
Jacob said he hopes the competition makes a difference and brings awareness to the current housing situation.
Submissions for the competition close on June 21.
text by Nick James, NZ Herald