Homeless accommodation ‘not what I was expecting’

Homeless accommodation 'not what I was expecting'

Families in the Far North needing emergency housing are being sent to a dilapidated campground to live in concrete rooms with no carpet, insulation or hot water.

About 40 people have been housed in 14 rooms at the former Whangaroa Harbour Holiday Park, five minutes’ drive from Kaeo – a town that has been ranked as the most deprived in New Zealand by both Auckland and Otago University studies.

Bought in June by local iwi organisation Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa, tenants say the rooms’ walls are bare concrete, the floors are uncarpeted, there is no drinkable running water, the communal bathrooms and kitchen are often dirty, and there is no hot water in the rooms.

A young tenant at the campground described rūnanga staff as “awesome”, but said they should “have been more prepared before they moved any of the tenants in” as the campground was “rundown”.

The rūnanga bought the campground on 30 June, with some Te Puni Kōkiri funding, for $775,000. It was reopened a month later as an emergency housing facility.

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