Whānau without temporary housing feeling the brunt of lockdown

By Te Ao - Māori News

Level four lockdown continues to take a toll on many whanau across the motu, and it's even worse for those without homes, or in transitional housing.

Te Puea Marae in Tāmaki Makaurau has been providing temporary accommodation for whanau since 2016, and is working harder than ever during these times of uncertainty.

Chairman Hurimoana Dennis says one of the major helping hands in helping to tackle this issue is Taumata kōrero – A collective of 13 providers who collaborate with the marae and discuss what is needed.

“We talk, and we get resources, we get funding, and we’ve also started up a Māori food network, which means we can get food directly to our whanau we’ve placed.”

Dennis says providing homes for people during lockdown is difficult so the priority is aimed towards making sure whānau have enough kai.

“We’ve got another two weeks from Tuesday so it’s gonna be testing. In terms of the homeless, we are still pushing but the goal here is to make sure the ones that have homes, have got kai too."

On Te Ao Tapatahi this morning, Dennis also provided an update on the Waitangi Tribunal hearing about the Crown's alleged failure to adequately support many whānau Māori to attain the basic human right of having a roof over their head, thus perpetuating Māori homelessness. 

"I've been to all of the hearings," he says.

"The last hearings are gonna be here in October, Covid-19 permitting where the final submissions will be made. I think there is a lot of awareness now too because the inquiry has highlighted a whole lot of other things."