Rough sleepers and beggars are causing problems for at least two south Auckland business associations.
But how big is the homelessness problem in Counties Manukau and what can be done to tackle begging on the city's streets?
Rana Judge is the town centre manager for the Ōtara and Old Papatoetoe business associations. He said the number of homeless people and beggars in the two areas has grown over the last couple of years.
Judge says a lot of the people are intoxicated and they often sleep on the footpath.
He has been in contact with the council about the issue.
"But what's the point of having bylaws if there's no enforcement?" Judge said.
"The police say there's not much they can do about it because they aren't doing anything illegal. But shopkeepers should be able to tell these people they don't have a right to sit in front of their stores."
Faiyaz Mohammed is the owner of South City Barbers in Old Papatoetoe's St George St. He agreed with Judge and said the situation has become worse, with more homeless people and begging in the town centre.
He said a lot of the store owners have to contend with people sleeping in their doorways when they open up for business in the morning.
"And when my customers leave the shop they ask them for money," Mohammed said.
He said they also target people using ATMs.
Mohammed said, with more development earmarked for the area, the issue needs to be addressed.
Richard Murray is the owner of NZ Chicken in Ōtara Town Centre and said he was sick of having to deal with the same problems.
"It's not good for business," he said. "We shouldn't have to put up with people intimidating our customers."
In a statement an Auckland Council spokesperson said it tried to provide people who were homeless or begging with advice on how they could access social services and organisations such as the Salvation Army, Lifewise and the City Mission.
"Behaviour can still be addressed under the Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw for nuisance or aggressive behaviour from any person in a public place. The council works with police to address this behaviour once it escalates to a criminal threshold."
But the spokesperson said such people were often not deterred by the threat of being prosecuted and were often not in a position to pay a fine.
The New Zealand definition of homelessness is where someone has no other option than to live without shelter, in temporary accommodation, or shared accommodation with a household.
A He Kāinga Oranga/Housing & Health Research Programme report on severe housing deprivation, released in June, shows there are 18,157 people defined as homeless in Auckland, out of 41,412 nationwide.
That includes more than 7800 people in south Auckland, with 153 people without shelter, 624 in temporary accommodation and 7050 sharing accommodation.