A Wellington women's shelter has nearly tripled its capacity, but still has enough demand to fill its rooms five times over.
On Wednesday Wellington Homeless Women's Trust officially opened its new upgrade, which has seen the number of beds available to homeless women increase from five to 14.
Wellington Homeless Women's Trust general manager Haria Tareha said "words couldn't express" the feeling of being able to offer a bed to a woman in need.
"[We were] limited to five rooms for three months and when one comes vacant you get 20 referrals wanting that one room.
"To be able to say 'yes you can come in', what a great feeling … within a week we filled up nine rooms."
She said they were still fielding ongoing demand for beds, and could easily fill their shelter five times over.
"Absolutely and that would be an understatement," she said.
"My future aspiration will be that they get at least, in capital cities, five pods of this around everyone.
"It's sad, but there is a need and it's only going to increase."
More capacity would mean women were aware of their emergency housing options, and could be supported earlier in their lives.
"One woman didn't know this place existed and if she did she could have come sooner."
The WHWT upgrade was blessed and unveiled on Wednesday to a gathering of councillors, police, and members of the public.
Associate Housing Minister Marama Davidson said she was honoured to unveil the plaque of the newly-named Te Whare Nuku Noa alongside Housing Minister Megan Woods.
"Housing and manaaki support is a healing place," she said.
She added the Government's goal was to safely and appropriately transition people into long-term housing "where they can really put down their roots".
Woods said the upgrade came at a "critical time" for New Zealand in working to provide more safe and secure housing.
"Part of a healthy housing system is the ability to move home as your life circumstances change.
"A place to call home is essential to everybody's wellbeing and for some provides a much needed safe haven for recovery, employment, education as well as that wider community engagement."
"Being homeless can strip women and men of dignity and hope."
She also addressed recent criticisms of people housed in Wellington motels as emergency accommodation.
"I know right now there is a lot of criticism about people being housed in motels, which I don't see as anything but a temporary solution.
"However, I am yet to hear from the critics the alternative to people taking shelter there."
She said the Government was on target to deliver 18,000 more public houses by 2024.