B for bravery

By Ripeka Timutimu

A 16-year old cancer patient who found refuge at Te Puea Marae now has her own roof over her head, with her family paying an affordable rent of $104 per week. The girl the nation has come to know only as B went to Te Puea Marae for help after being left homeless in Auckland.

A new home and new beginning for B and her family. Thrust into the spotlight this week, B can now call a four-bedroom house in Otara a home.

Earlier this week, advocate for Urban Māori Willie Jackson, told Māori Television that B was being used as a political pawn in the homelessness issue.

Te Puea Marae Chairman Hurimoana Dennis says, “That's Willie's perspective but in the beginning, no one would listen to the family. At Te Puea, we listen, assist and welcome families here.”

However, when a family goes from a small room at Te Puea to a large house. Dennis says it's hard to ignore their efforts.

“Helping people is what we do at Te Puea. Look at their new home.”

She's survived homelessness, but now B prepares herself to survive cancer.