14 Aug 2016

Hundreds of submissions received on homelessness

7:50 am on 14 August 2016

More than 400 submissions have been made to a cross-party inquiry into homelessness.

Volunteers sorting clothes at Te Puea Marae

Volunteers sorting clothes at Te Puea Marae, which had opened its doors to help find accommodation for the homeless. Photo: RNZ

The South Auckland marae which opened its doors to the homeless will no longer take in any more people from the end of this week.

The inquiry by the Labour, Green and Māori parties was launched after National MPs blocked an attempt to get a select committee to hold one.

The deadline for written submissions was on Friday, but Green Party MP Marama Davidson said people could still make oral submissions at public hearings around the country.

"We're not going to exclude people. The very nature of this problem and this challenge is that people do not always have access to good means of communication."

She said a lot of submissions had come from midwives and people working in the community who wanted to have their say.

Many midwives organisations had described their heartbreak at the conditions that many newborns were living in, with families who were struggling.

"Social service providers are biting to be able to tell their stories of how concerned they are, and also how under researched they are to try and pick up on these failures that are happening in these communities."

The first hearing will take place at Te Puea Marae on 22 August, followed by hearings in Christchurch, Tauranga, Kaitaia and Wellington.

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