Associate Minister of Social Development intervenes in search for accomodation

By Raniera Harrison

Associate Minister of Social Development, Peeni Henare has raised concerns following the plight of a Whangārei solo mother of 5 who is desperate to find accomodation.

"The real problem is why has it after five months of this mother looking for accomodation for her family, the Government have not protected her and her family?" says Henare.

Plans are now underway to find housing for the family who are facing the prospect of homelessness.

"I've been informed of the comments of the Northland Regional Commissioner at the Ministry of Social Development, Eru Lyndon who has vowed to help this family and rectify the situation." adds Henare.

It's been 24 hours since Joanne Pira (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hauā) made a plea on Te Kāea last night, to find suitable housing for her sick child.

Now MPs have stepped in to offer assistance.

"She will be able to go to a motel on Monday under the emergency accomodation schemes available, because she will be without accomodation on Monday." says Labour MP, and former Far North District councillor, Willow-Jean Prime.

On Monday, a report commissioned by Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford - "A Stocktake of New Zealand's Housing" found that 80 percent of those seeking emergency shelter are being turned away.

"This problem is much larger then we initially thought and believed this time last year" says Prime.

Te Kāea spoke with Joanne Pira today. She was unavailable to appear on camera but said "it's the beginning of a new journey" for her family.

"I watched the story on Te Kāea last night and my heart cried because I saw a mother struggling to provide for her children" says Prime.

The Pira family will be meeting with Work and Income and other Government agencies on Monday.