Call for government to fund marae providing emergency housing

By Heta Gardiner

The Green Party says that marae should be considered for government contracts to provide emergency housing to the homeless. But how does their support party Labour feel about the idea? 

Hotels will be booked by the government as emergency housing to help the homeless. But the Green Party says that financial assistance should be offered to marae as well.

Marama Davidson says, “I absolutely agree with that idea. We saw last winter the efforts that were made by marae to look after our whanau, our mokopuna without government support.”

The government has said that they will again pay hotels to accommodate homeless people with winter soon approaching.

Last year Te Puia marae opened its doors to the homeless despite not being given a contract to provide accommodation as the hotels did.

National MP Amy Adams says, “I'd like to see everyone housed but as I said every winter in New Zealand we've had, motels are available to those that need them in the short term.”

Labour acknowledges the efforts of marae in this area, but says there is a bigger issue at play.

Labour leader Andrew Little says, “Great when those marae do that and the trustees of those marae show the compassion to do that, but this is not a way to run housing policy.”

The Green Party agrees.

Davidson says, “We need to support our marae but in the end the government has the power to make a difference and get these people off the streets.”

The government has spent more than $300 million on emergency housing