It was moving day at the Te Kuiti camping ground yesterday and many of the residents were gathering up their possessions and moving on.

That's because at midnight last night - the lease on the property ended. Waitomo District Council haven't renewed it because they weren't happy with it being used as social housing for locals.

"I don't blame the council, it's not their problem it's a national problem, however they could all come together with the iwi, the council and the people," Te Kuiti campground Manager, John Te Huia says.

Out of the nine residents that were still on-site yesterday - all but one have found somewhere to live.


Mr Te Huia says a mother and her three children are being put up in a motel, a couple found a private rental and three others will move into cabins and caravans in Mr Te Huia's own backyard which is next door to the campground.

"Where do I put them? I don't wanna see them out on the streets. I would rather pay double rates than see them out on the streets until we can find something substantial," Mr Te Huia says.

Over the years his campground has mainly catered for tourists but in the last few years, had become emergency social housing.

At two o'clock yesterday Council staff were checking residents had moved out or were on their way out before the lease expired.

But there was still one resident with nowhere to go. Last week when we spoke to him, he was still unsure about what he wanted.

"I can't believe it. I've lived in Te Kuiti for a number of years and I mean unfortunately I've been through a number of situations so hey I'm at the camping ground," Mr Kevin Kinnane says.

The Ministry of Social Development has a council flat for Mr Kinane but there's some uncertainty about whether he'll go.

Mr Te Huia says he's willing to run community housing in Te Kuiti - and has even had people contacting him with offers of cabins and portable housing. He just needs somewhere to put them.

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