No easy answers for why high number of Māori are homeless

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Thursday, 16 May 2019, 8:14PM
There are concerns over the number of homeless Maori in Auckland. (Photo / NZ Herald)
There's no easy answer to why nearly half of Auckland's homeless population are Maori.
The full findings of Auckland's Homeless Count, conducted over a single September night, have been released, and minorities are over represented.

Nearly 43 per cent of those without shelter and nearly 40 per cent of those living in temporary accommodation were Māori.

Rainbow people and the disabled are also over-represented, while numbers of Pasifika people were disproportionately high in temporary accommodation.

1300 children were living in temporary accommodation, nearly half in non-permanent homes.

Link People chief executive Christine Hall told Heather du Plessis-Allan homelessness is often a symptom of issues related to accessing support.
"We know that pathways into homelesness are people often do have mental health and addiction issues, trauma, and evidence also of children who have been in care as a child are much more likely of being homeless as adults." 
She says that the temporary accommodation tends to be motels or transitional housing, but it is a very complex issue as to why they are there. 
Hall says that she would like to see Government agencies working more on the basis of trust with people rather than punitively. 
Housing First Auckland programme manager Fiona Hamilton says solutions grounded in Kaupapa Māori have worked well at Te Puea Marae in Mangere and Papakura Marae - and must be a priority.

Hamilton says examining how that can be built upon and delivered across a wider, regional Auckland context needs to be a key focus.


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