The lack of empathy in this world often astounds me.

In Thursday's paper, we shared a concerning story about a family of eight sharing a small motel unit while trying to find a rental.

It's a horrible situation to contemplate - two parents and their six kids, two of whom are newborns, living in such cramped conditions with all the uncertainty that living in temporary quarters brings.

Read more: Homeless Tauranga family of eight move into transitional housing
Family of eight with premature babies living in Tauranga motel


Imagine how that would feel. One day, you and your long-term partner are living safe and secure in a private rental property, four cute kids running around the backyard, a growing belly nurturing two more sweet little souls.

Then you come home from work to the news that your landlord is asking you to move out. You don't get too worried, knowing you've got a few weeks up your sleeve to find another home.

You start trawling Trade Me, visiting rental management offices, signing reams of application forms, but hearing nothing back.

During all the stress, mum gives birth to twins two months early, and one has a heart problem.

As D-Day creeps closer, panic sets in. Where on Earth are you all going to go? In desperation, you try for a state house, but they're all full.

The only option left is a motel.

I can't even begin to imagine how hard this would be on a family.

My own family is a large one. My mother always wanted four kids, and when a fifth came along unexpectedly, it was a huge shock, but one we embraced.


As with many families, money was often tight, but houses were a lot cheaper then and my parents were able to buy their own home with only one wage coming in.

If we were renting, we could easily have been in the same boat as this family, the landlord wanting their house back and us struggling to find another willing to take on our large family.

Situations can change and a stable family can have the rug pulled from under their feet, affecting their whole way of life.

It's easy to stand at a distance and judge people for having too many children, for not having the right job, for relying on the state too much.

But remember, these are real people, with real struggles.

They need our help, not our condemnation.

They're in a hard place - and one day it might be you.