19 Jul 2017

Dargaville rental shortage forces families from homes

9:00 am on 19 July 2017

A church leader is calling for help to tackle homelessness in Dargaville.

A car prepared to be slept in this evening at the #parkupforhomes event in Mangere. 16 June 2016.

Rev Kuli Fisiahi said he had found one family camped out in their car (file photo). Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Reverend Kuli Fisiahi said many Aucklanders had moved to the Northland town to invest or retire and property values were rising.

He knew of six Tongan families who had been evicted from their rental homes by new owners.

Most of the town's Tongan families worked at the local freezing works or in horticulture and many had lived there for years.

Mr Fisiahi said became aware of the problem recently when he found one family with three children, the youngest aged about four, camped out in their car by public toilets.

As a temporary solution he has managed to get them into a house that is up for sale.

In other cases, two families were living in one house, he said.

The minister said a meeting was being held in Dargaville this afternoon to look at options to help the homeless.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs