December 11, 2019
Christmas queues show poverty biting
The head of Manukau Urban Māori Authority’s whānau ora programme says the response to the Christmas hand out shows conditions are getting worse for the poorest in society.
People queued overnight at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae to be among the 200 to get one of that day’s parcels of food and gifts from the Auckland City Mission.
There was a similar response at the distribution centres at Papakura Marae, Eden Park and Vision West.
Veronica Henare says the situation seemed even more intense than last year, with mothers and grandmothers with children dominating the queues.
"Everything else goes up except their income. The rents are going up, kai, you name it, so they are being hit every which way and it's why they get to a point at Christmas time they simply cannot afford to buy the tamariki presents, they cannot afford the kai over that period," she says.
Veronica Henare says if people aren’t at the gates before 7am they won’t have a chance to be seen that day.
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