Te Puea Marae to stop accepting homeless families

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Te Puea Memorial Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis says the doors will close to new whanau from July 31.
Te Puea Memorial Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis says the doors will close to new whanau from July 31.

The Mangere marae that opened its doors to homeless families two months ago will not accept any more families from the end of this month, saying the "tidal wave" of homelessness has subsided.

Two months after taking in the first homeless families, Te Puea Memorial Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis said the doors would close to new whanau from July 31 and the marae's "Manaaki Tangata" programme would end a month later. "I think we've had a big impact on taking away some of the sting with some of these families that were sleeping in cars," he said. "We think the tidal wave has subsided."

By last week, he said, the marae had done needs assessments for 56 families and individuals, adding up to 70 adults and 86 children.

"Of the 56, we have placed 16 in permanent housing, 13 in temporary housing, 13 were in and out or just needed advice, eight we asked to leave because they were just not following the kawa [protocols] of the marae, and 19 people were still on site."

He said the numbers on site were now down to 14. He said the Manaaki Tangata programme had been planned for the winter only, partly because a rebuild of the marae was due in August or early September.

Meanwhile Manurewa Marae is bringing in five portacom housing units so that it can effectively pick up where Te Puea will leave off.

- The Aucklander

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