Cardboard boxes and mattresses were laid out on Whangārei's Canopy Bridge as locals experienced one night sleeping without a roof over their heads.

People of all ages took part in Ngā Whetū Haumaru, Shelter of Stars, an event organised by the Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Charitable Trust which challenged the public to forgo the comfort of a warm bed and experience an overnight sleepout on the Canopy Bridge on Saturday.

Ange Tepania, kaiārahi for the trust, said since hosting the last sleepout in 2016 the trust had grown significantly, almost doubling its capacity, and now operated from five properties which can at any one time accommodate up to 16 families and 12 single men who stay for an average of three to four months.

Photographer Michael Cunningham went along to capture the sleepout.

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Kaiya, 11, and Alyrra, 9, lie down, with Swavay Mackie-Wade, 5, all from Whangārei.
Kaiya, 11, and Alyrra, 9, lie down, with Swavay Mackie-Wade, 5, all from Whangārei.
Ange Tepania is the kaiārahi for Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Trust which hosted the sleepout.
Ange Tepania is the kaiārahi for Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Trust which hosted the sleepout.
Whangārei's Lofty and Carol Peters.
Whangārei's Lofty and Carol Peters.