Today Stuff has launched Southside Rising, a feature series on one of the most talked about yet misunderstood suburbs of New Zealand – Ōtara in south Auckland.

Stuff reporter Harrison Christian and a team of visual journalists spent weeks talking to people in the troubled suburb, long associated with crime and poverty, to find out whether or not there is still truth in its rough reputation.  

Southside Rising traverses both Ōtara’s notorious history – gang brawls, rioting street kids and an infamous public killing – and its journey to its often overlooked status as the cultural capital of the Pacific.

The project is about challenging the negative stereotypes that still cling to Ōtara by highlighting its diversity, examining its potential and giving a voice to its residents.

“This is the kind of reporting Stuff’s Auckland newsroom is focusing on – constructive, thought-provoking journalism that sparks conversation in New Zealand’s largest city,” says Blair Ensor, Stuff Auckland Editor.

Supported by a nationwide media strategy, Southside Rising builds on Stuff’s commitment to constructive journalism; putting the power of opinion in readers’ hands and encouraging them to question what matters to them about very real issues, while helping them form an educated opinion.

Phillipa Cameron, Stuff Chief Customer Officer says, “We wanted to embrace editorial’s approach to constructive journalism and truly showcase the vibrant and diverse community of Ōtara, bringing Auckland matters and issues to light with fresh and striking creative, provoking readers to really consider their own views or perceptions.”

“Alongside Stuff’s purpose of connecting New Zealanders with what matters, to their communities and to each other, with our continuing growth in Auckland, it’s been the perfect time to champion our excellent journalism to Kiwis.”

Stuff’s Auckland audience has soared – the latest Nielsen July figures showing a 20 per cent year-on-year increase to 594,000 unique monthly visitors. In recent months the business has bolstered its Ponsonby newsroom with the addition of several new journalists, including household names Todd Niall and Alison Mau.

Southside Rising launches today for three weeks, featuring three hero faces and taglines, along with the question ‘What matters to you?’, that will run across Stuff’s print and digital portfolio, radio and outdoor, including billboards and street posters nationwide, with a strong target on Aucklanders.

Visit  from today onwards for the latest.