May 20, 2016
Marae no answer for homeless
An Auckland anti-poverty activists says it’s not fair to expect Maoridom to clean up the mess the government has made of the housing market.
Sue Bradford says the Government has no idea how bad the homeless problem is in Auckland and it doesn’t have the political will to change anything.
She says it’s a legacy of three decades of running down the state housing stock and not building enough replacements.
Mangere’s Te Puea Marae is now considering its own response to the crisis, but the former Green MP says it should be wary of extending manaakitanga into areas where the state should have a direct responsibility.
"The cost of looking after people and housing people is high to do it well and the whole function of churches and marae and people's own homes and community groups can be overtaken if what you end up doing is accommodating desperate homeless people. It's not that it shouldn't happen but it's thinking about how to make it happen in a way that's not destructive of the original roopu itself," Ms Bradford says.
She says a lot of people who are now finding themselves homeless is because the extended family they have been staying with can no longer cope with the overcrowding.
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