For Napier woman Dee Kireka there was no doubt MP Meka Whaitiri had found her and her children a home to live in.

And, while she was grateful she now had a roof over her head, she said situations like the one she found herself in should not be resolved as a result of blistering comment - which is what Ms Whaitiri delivered in a Talking Point column in last Friday's Hawke's Bay Today.

She had referred obliquely to three people in her constituency who were going through severe and desperate times as they struggled to find somewhere to live in Napier.

One of her staff said, within a couple of hours of the column appearing, two of the people she had written about had been called and told homes had been found for them.


"It shouldn't have to be that way," Ms Kireka said.

"Why should you have to go to your MP and have a write-up done to get a house."

She had grown up in Hawke's Bay but moved away, spending 10 years in Whanganui before moving to Hamilton last February.

She had her five children aged between 4 and 16 with her, and went on the waiting list for a house in Hamilton, but decided to head back to the Bay.

That's when things began to get tough and, despite being placed on a priority list, they spent the following months moving from one place to another - having to split the children between other family members, as there was never anything permanent or suitable in size for them.

"It was just months of moving from home to home and it was so unsettling for the children, really disheartening."

The children were constantly affected by not having a more permanent place to live, and one of her sons ended up in trouble. Ms Kireka broke down and was comforted by her cousin Whai Kireka when she told of how they ended up living in a small bach/shed at the back of a two-bedroom property which was occupied by the tenant and nine others.

She said the irony of it all was she was told if she had been forced to live in a car she would almost certainly get a house. Which, last Friday, she finally got, and the relief was clear. "So happy," she said.

One of the other women Ms Whaitiri wrote of had been two months on the waiting list for a home for herself and four children and they were sleeping on the floor of a damp Housing New Zealand property with six other people.