16 May 2024

Dunedin's homeless and rough sleepers erect growing tent encampment

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 16 May 2024
Image of homeless living in tents, Dunedin.

Photo: Supplied

A growing 'tent encampment' in Dunedin City was entirely predictable, say groups working with rough sleepers, as concerns grow for their welfare in winter.

Charities working with the homeless say there are between 11 and 22 tents set up at the Kensington Oval, a large open sports field.

Even more are living in vans and cars on nearby park land and in surrounding bushes next to the urban motorway.

David McKenzie runs the Dunedin Night Shelter. He says they saw the situation coming last year, when a major boarding house closed down, and backpackers lodges turned back to the tourist market, post-Covid.

He says homelessness is a growing problem in the southern city, which is heading into another cold winter.

David McKenzie, Dunedin Bedding Bank's volunteer Janine Walker and Dunedin mayor Jules Radich speak with Kathryn Ryan.