Auckland Council will play a co-ordinating role, working with central government, NGOs, and the private sector to eliminate homelessness in the city.

"When I walk up from Britomart, I walk past lots of people sleeping on the street," says Mayor Phil Goff.

"It's not simply the perception that's bad for the city -- it's the reality. Who in their right mind would be sleeping on the pavement if they had some alternative," he says.

Goff's policy to help the homeless will be based on the principle of "Housing First" -- where priority is given to obtaining stable housing. Once accommodation is provided, wraparound services can be provided to address the issues that lead to homelessness.


"I would argue that by the time you take into account hospitalisation of people of the street, law and order, and imprisonment issues, there is a strong economic case as well as a social case," he says.

The People's Project, operating in Hamilton, adopted the Housing First model in 2014. Following the lead of Canada, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, it aims to address the public's concerns about the number of people living on the streets and sleeping rough.

Key organisations -- including Hamilton City Council, New Zealand Police, Ministry of Social Development, Child, Youth and Family, Housing New Zealand, Department of Corrections, Waikato District Health Board, Midlands Health, Hamilton Central Business Association, Te Puni Kokiri and the Wise Group -- work collaboratively together to end homelessness, rather than manage it.

"I went to visit the People's Project where they pull it all together," says Goff. "It just makes sense.

"NGOs have told me the best thing council can do is co-ordinate things. We have 50 different NGOs doing different things. On top of that, government departments are not coming together.

"The People's Project has had a 93 per cent success rate keeping people in their homes. It works," Goff says. Tim McCready