Plans for temporary accommodation and staff training at Te Puea Marae

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

South Auckland's Te Puea marae have some big plans on the horizon to better improve their care of the homeless. It includes training development of Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Housing New Zealand staff, employment opportunities and also building new housing accommodation.

Plans are underway to improve housing for Auckland's homeless next year.

Te Puea Chairman Hurimoana Dennis says, “The idea is to have the needy families come here. They will stay there. We will use our networks here at Manaaki Tangata, then we will find a new home for them. When they move to their new home we will still work with them. Then Whānau Ora will care for them.”

And it's not just homes for the homeless. Under an agreement in principle, Hurimoana and his team will train MSD and Housing New Zealand staff.

“The idea behind this is to bring understanding on how to better assist the families and the Māori point of view. Because we know they are fighting to be heard by MSD and Housing NZ staff.”

The Manaaki Tangata programme started last year in the winter, with more than 80 families assisted into accommodation. Since July this year, 16 families have been helped to house.

“Another area is to create an employment pathway strategy for our unemployed families. Those are the important issues we will address.”

They want to build ten two-bedroom units to house 10 families. Up to five people per whānau will stay here for three months.

Manaaki Tangata will re-open in February for the next six months. In that time they expect to receive consent from the Māori Land court to build the new units.