23 Dec 2016

Akl church to put up gates to stop rough sleepers

1:17 pm on 23 December 2016

One of Auckland's best-known churches is erecting security gates around its doorways to deter homeless people from sheltering there.

St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland

St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The Vicar of St Matthew-in-the-City, Helen Jacobi, said it was a reluctant decision based on keeping staff safe, and protecting the heritage-listed building.

She said the large metal gates - which cost about $25,000 - had taken a year to design, but the church has taken three years to decide whether to take action.

They are due to go up in January.

Reverend Jacobi said staff had to clean up human waste most mornings and often felt unsafe unlocking the church in the morning with intoxicated people staying there.

"We just can't, any longer, put up with that and unfortunately it's only a very few who spoil it for those who might find it a really nice place to shelter."

Reverend Jacobi said she had consulted with the City Mission, and spoken to the those who regularly slept in the area, about the change.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs