A family of eight living in emergency housing in Tauranga has found a temporary home.

Yesterday the Bay of Plenty Times published the story of Kristal Heke and her family who had been living in a Cameron Rd motel for the past 10 days after struggling to find a rental home.

A social worker from Te Tuinga Whanau Services Trust knocked on Heke's motel room door before 9am yesterday to deliver the news there was a transitional house available for the family.

"I was taken aback, it was such a surprise," Heke said.


The family moved into a three-bedroom home in Gate Pa that was part of Te Tuinga Whanau's transitional housing programme.

Heke's biggest concern while living in the motel was the health and wellbeing of her children.

She had given birth to twin girls who were born eight weeks premature only six weeks ago and had recently found out baby Heaven-Leigh had a heart defect.

Her 3-year-old son had respiratory problems which meant he was often admitted to hospital.

Te Tuinga Whanau's community projects manager, John Gibson, said a house was made available for the family due to the health conditions of the children.

On average, families spent a maximum of 12 weeks in transitional housing but, because of the size of Heke's family, it was expected it could take longer to find suitable permanent accommodation, Gibson said.

"We will help the family until they find a rental property, we only want them to have to move once," he said.

Gibson said the fast turnaround of finding a suitable solution for the family came down to good communication between Te Tuinga Whanau and the Ministry of Social Development.


Social workers from the trust helped Heke move into her new home and would continue to support the family.

Heke said the family was very happy to be in the home and the children were getting settled in.

"I'm so thankful to everyone who has helped us."

Ministry of Social Development's regional commissioner Bay of Plenty, Mike Bryant, said he was pleased with the outcome.

"We're always very excited to see families like Kristal's take a step closer to achieving their goals so it's great that an opportunity has come up with Te Tuinga Whanau service," he said.

"We wish the whanau all the best and we'll continue to provide them with all the support we can."