Rotorua's homeless are thrilled they will once again have a warm place to sleep after consent was granted to turn a daytime drop-in centre into a night shelter.

Rotorua Lakes Council confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that consent for the Pukuatua St centre had been granted.

Building work on the centre, run by Visions of a Helping Hand Charitable Trust, will now take place so a code of compliance certificate can be issued before the change of use.

The trust aims to have the work completed in one to two weeks.


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Homeless man Marshall Clarke said it was great news.

"It's like a safe haven.

"It's free from drugs and alcohol and it motivated you to look for your own place."

He said once the night shelter was operational he was likely to use it often.

The drop-in centre on Pukuatua St has been approved for conversion into a night shelter. Photo / Ben Fraser
The drop-in centre on Pukuatua St has been approved for conversion into a night shelter. Photo / Ben Fraser

Also homeless, Peter James Hemi said he hoped the shelter would be open for use quickly.

"It's somewhere warm to go when you don't have anywhere else."

Brian "Bambam" Mollgaard now has a home but was previously homeless. He said the drop-in centre had been a "big help".


Another formerly homeless man Colin Scott said the news was a "big step ahead".

"I really believe this is a really good step in the right direction. It's not going to help just the community but the whole of Aotearoa will be looking at this.

"All the people involved always look out for one another."

Tiny Deane of Visions of a Helping Hand Charitable Trust said the reaction had been positive.

"We're rapt. Everyone is pretty happy because there are quite a few people staying down at the marae."

Deane said completing the building work required to open as a night shelter would take roughly two to three weeks.

"If there are any builders that can help pro bono that would be really appreciated. That would make it quicker."

Neighbouring businesses have previously expressed concern about the actions, behaviour, and language used by some of the users of the daytime drop-in centre but did not want to comment on the latest update.