Maori make up 80% of homeless – hui calls for action

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(Waatea News) A national hui on homelessness has called for an parliamentary inquiry into the problem.

Iris Pahau from the Coalition to End Homelessness says Maori make up at more than 80 percent of the homeless.

She says there is no government agency which takes the lead responsibility for dealing with it.

We as a coalition have called for a parliamentary inquiry into homelessness because we dont know how wide or how deep the problem is for New Zealanders but we know it is a growing industry and we want to be able to stop it. Our country is small enough to stop this from getting
any bigger, Mrs Pahau says.

She says the answer to homeless is not just more emergency and affordable housing but also getting homeless Maori connected back to the whanau and hapu they have often lost touch with.

(NZ Herald) Auckland Night Shelter manager Corie Haddock, who co-chairs the coalition, said he was advising Tauranga police, council and churches about a planned night shelter for a growing number of rough sleepers. He will meet another group in Palmerston North in June.

He said the coalition wanted a parliamentary inquiry into all aspects of homelessness, including boarding houses, overcrowding and substandard houses as well as rough sleeping.

National MP Katrina Shanks, who chairs Parliament’s social services committee, said the committee felt the whole issue was too broad and lacked adequate research, but it was considering an inquiry into boarding houses.

WHO’S HOMELESS

* Rough sleepers: “A few hundred”, including about 120 in Auckland.
* Boarding houses, motor camps and other temporary accommodation: Unknown, perhaps several thousand.
* Substandard houses: “A few thousand”. Last Census found 4722 people in 2295 uninhabitable dwellings.
* Overcrowded: “Many thousands”. Census found 28,000 one-family households and 43,000 households with more than one family in overcrowded conditions.

Source: Housing NZ, Nov 2010.

3 COMMENTS

    • After being at the ACM for 12 weeks, I’d say some people simply choose to sleep rough. I think it’s easy to forget how difficult it can be to bust out of the situation of sleeping rough – It’s hard to get a job when you have tats on your face and hands, you haven’t worked for years, and you have multiple convictions.

      I think a lot more though ‘choose to’ sleep rough in the same way that someone ‘chooses’ to be addicted to drugs or alcohol… Choice actually has less to do with it in that way.

  1. I believe it that 80% of us are homeless, of no fixed abode, renting is also a form of homelessness. NZ British colonial crown government of party focused ministers were never guenuinely in politics to help Maori. How could Pakeha ever help Maori? The coat of arms which was introduced after the Treaty was signed. This instructs this beehive formed government.
    Got to for proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DdyoOYX0_E

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