3 Aug 2016

Hundreds of submissions for homelessness inquiry

1:40 pm on 3 August 2016

More than 250 submissions have been made to a cross-party inquiry into homelessness, which will have its first public hearing at Auckland's Te Puea Marae later this month.

Volunteers sorting clothes at Te Puea Marae

Volunteers sort clothes at Te Puea Marae, where the first public hearing in the homelessness inquiry will be held. Photo: RNZ

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

The National Party said it did not support the inquiry because it already had a strong plan for dealing with homelessness.

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

Labour housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the inquiry had already heard from 260 individuals and organisations, including foodbanks, midwives, grandparents and builders.

"Most of all they are horrified that New Zealand is becoming a country where people are left to fend for themselves on the streets," he said.

The submissions revealed how hard it was for New Zealanders to find a secure and affordable place to live, the Green Party's Marama Davidson said.

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox said politicians needed to find sustainable solutions.

"The housing crisis has been decades in the making and if we don't find a way to fix it soon, it'll be a problem for decades to come. We owe it to future generations," she said.

Public submissions, which can be made online, close on 12 August.

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