Real Life

New Zealand in ‘homelessness crisis’ this winter

A petition will be brought to Parliament this Wednesday, in the hopes of bringing New Zealand homeless policy in line with other countries.
Nz homelessness

Nz homelessness

Nz homelessness

Emergency housing providers are warning that homelessness in New Zealand will reach a new crisis point this winter, as the Government continues to not make it a focus point.

James Crow from a think tank on homelessness in NZ, Gimme Shelter, is calling on the government to create a national strategy to prevent people ending up on Kiwi streets.

A petition for this cause will be delivered to Parliament on Wednesday, having garnered more than 10,000 Kiwi signatures.

As part of their campaign, the group delivering the petition have created an image of the ‘New Zealand minister for homelessness’ who so far doesn’t exist.

In other OECD countries, such as the UK, Australia and Canada, there is an MP responsible for this cause.

Action Station’s campaign image

James Crow, along with Action Station Campaign Director, Laura O’Connell, A Voice for Homeless Youth representatives, Tenisha Kumar and Shahd Mahmoud, will present the petition to Labour Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern, as well as MP Phil Twyford.

Speaking on the issue, James Crow said “NZ is way behind by international standards in actively planning around homelessness.”

“We are in a crisis that’s been in the public eye for more than 12 months and little strategy has been shown by the Government. It’s time to up our game.”

Deputy Labour Leader, Jacinda Ardern, said she was shocked to return to New Zealand and find that homelessness, especially among young people, had been a “hidden” problem for a while.

ActionStation campaign Directionr, Laura O’Connell Rapira, said: “Everyone deserves a warm, dry, safe home. The Government needs to create a coherent strategy for ensuring that every single person has a roof over their head.”

Find out more by clicking through to ActionStation or to Gimme Shelter.

We spoke to James in 2016 about his work trying to assess the scale of homelessness in NZ, and you can read more on this topic here.

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