There is strong interest in the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry with hundreds of public submissions already received and the first hearing to be held at Auckland’s Te Puea Marae.
People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders still have two weeks to share their experiences of and solutions to this growing issue.
The first public hearing will be held at Auckland’s Te Puea Marae on August 22. That will be followed by hearings in Christchurch, Tauranga, Kaitaia and Wellington.
Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says the Inquiry has already heard from a wide range of people throughout the country including food banks, midwives, grandparents and even builders.
“They are worried about the health of kids spending winter living in cars and garages, and the number of elderly in substandard and temporary living conditions. Most of all they are horrified that New Zealand is becoming a country where people are left to fend for themselves on the streets.
Green Party Social Housing spokesperson Marama Davidson says the submissions so far have revealed how hard it is for New Zealanders to find a secure and affordable place to live.
“I’ve heard directly from people in Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua and Northland how dire the situation is getting for families. What’s become clear is that we need to know exactly what we are dealing with, as well as people’s ideas for how to make it better. That’s the job in front of this inquiry.”
Māori Party Co-Leader Marama Fox says it has been heart-warming to see marae reaching out and helping those most in need, but it shouldn’t be seen as the answer to New Zealand’s housing problems.
“As politicians we need to find sustainable solutions. The housing crisis has been decades in the making and if we don’t find a way to fix it soon, it’ll be a problem for decades to come. We owe it to future generations.”
The Inquiry has already heard from 260 individuals and organisations. Submissions close on Friday, 12 August and can made at: http://www.homelessnessinquiry.co.nz/submission