Airbnb prepares for disaster with Auckland accommodation agreement

Auckland (file)
Auckland (file)

Over 4,000 homes listed on Airbnb in Auckland could now be used as emergency accommodation in the event of a natural disaster.

It's after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the online accommodation giant and the Auckland Council, allowing guests to open up their listings fee-free to displaced families.

Julian Persaud, Airbnb's Regional Director of Asia Pacific, says it's all about building a sense of community throughout a crisis.

"So what would happen is that in the event where people are displaced from their homes we would basically engage with our community, waive our fees, and get our hosts to open up their home," he says.

NZ will be one of the first countries to have this agreement.

"We've only actually done this agreement in two other places in the world, where we're actually working with the council directly," he says.

He says he has told the council that "when there is an actual disaster you can count on us and our community to open up their homes".

"It's the sort of partnership you actually never want to have to enact because it's based around disaster relief," Mr Persaud says.