Mother of 10 sleeping in carport

By Mānia Clarke

Te Kāea received a huge response from a story we ran about Te Puea marae in Auckland opening its doors to homeless whānau. A mother of 10 who has taken to sleeping in a carport reached out for help.

WINZ confirmed with Te Kāea today they would consider funding Marae to house homeless families, despite them paying hotels to house those in need of emergency housing.

Tainui spokesperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says that won't stop them helping those in need, with one woman likely to find shelter with them as early as next Tuesday.

At the moment, this is home for Susan and her seven children and three dependants under her care.

Susan has struggled to find permanent accommodation for the past three months. For the last four days, this has been their home.

“It's heart-breaking!  I'm their mother and I'm supposed to be the one, that's supposed to have a, like a safe roof over their head, kai in their tummy's.  I should already have this here for them.  I feel like I'm failing them, but really if they knew as an adult, it's the system that's failing us,” says Susan.

Te Puea Marae in South Auckland has given them a lifeline.

Morgan says, “Next Tuesday, the doorways of this marae will be open for families like hers to stay at this marae.”

Government funding allows around $40mil for emergency housing. Morgan says they will work with local health and government agencies to house the needy.

“While they're here, we hope they will be here for three weeks, and support services can come and assist them in finding appropriate permanent housing for them.”

Susan old Te Kāea, “To me everything happens for a reason, so maybe, this is where good things are about to start, and I really appreciate Te Puea marae doing that for me and my family man, much love.”

With a full belly and smiling faces, things are finally looking up for Susan and her children.