12 Jul 2017

Te Puea Marae ready to welcome the homeless

From Checkpoint, 5:27 pm on 12 July 2017

More than 60 families were the recipients of kindness and aroha last winter after Te Puea Marae in Mangere opened its doors to the homeless.

It's doing it again but this year that manaakitanga or hospitality won't be funded by the generosity of businesses or the aroha of the community.

Instead, the government is to fund Te Puea as an emergency housing provider.

It has provided five two-bedroom cabins, which can each accommodate families of up to five and will be available for the next six months starting on Tuesday.

The ballpark cost to the government is $960 per family, per week, including food and social services.

Temporary housing for families set up at Te Puea Marae, 12 July 2017.

The temporary housing at Te Puea Marae. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Not far from the marae, families in other forms of emergency accommodation, including lodges and motels, are costing the  government considerably more than that without food.

In short, Te Puea can give more, for less.  

The wharekai or shared dining room has brand new benches and the cupboards are full.  

And while you can feel the spirit of manaakitanga or hospitality, these cabins are for families only, but they will receive a pōwhiri in line with the kawa, or protocol of Te Puea.