Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

New home for family who lost everything in fire

A new home has been found for the Lemeki family in the same area where their old one burned down.

The family have been given a place in two separate motel units on the North Shore, until they move into a more permanent home on May 18.

Mafi Lemeki was grateful a house had been found near her children's school and in the suburb they had called home for almost a decade.

"Thank God we have a place to sleep," she said.

Housing New Zealand said its staff had been working very hard to find a house for the family.

"While we are well set-up to deal with emergency situations, it still takes a massive effort as it must be fitted in among other priority housing for other tenants."

The family of nine, including seven of their eight children, were having to live with 13 other relatives in South Auckland after losing their Beach Haven home and all their belongings in a fire last week.

The burned home of the Lemeki family in Beach Haven. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The burned home of the Lemeki family in Beach Haven. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Birkdale Beach Haven community project manager Carla Van Walen said the community had really rallied together.

As well as the more than 50 large boxes of goods donated, Spark had given the family new mobile phones and the children's rugby team were planning on organising a fundraiser at the weekend.

Any excess goods the community received would be given to Shine, a charity that works with those affected by family violence.

However she said the family were still in need of beds.

She said bunk beds would be perfect for the kids who would share a room in their new house.

With the approval of the Lemeki family, the community was also setting up a Givealittle page for those who wanted to donate.

Van Walen said with all the support received by the time the family was offered a home she was hopeful they would have collected everything the family needed.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 24 May 2017 23:27:02 Processing Time: 516ms