"Colonisation made me homeless"

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

A man who’s been homeless for nine years says colonisation is to blame for his homelessness.

This comes ahead of the announcement of the initial findings from Auckland’s Homeless Count.

Eugene Hill, who has been living on the streets for almost a decade, says the system of colonisation has had a profound affect on Māori life.

“Homelessness is a result of unresolved issues at home, with parents and whānau, with abuse or mental abuse, physical abuse. One hundred percent colonisation.”

He says because the system caused his homelessness, it’s the system that needs to fix it.

"It's about accountability and transparency."

Auckland Council figures released in July 2017 said there were 27,000 people living in substandard accommodation in Auckland. 

Hill says he's seeing more and more youth on the streets and hopes they'll be a focus when it comes to using Auckland’s Homeless Count to inform policy.

"It saddens me when a lot of the young ones are homeless, I would like to see the young ones have to go to work, even do a course. But not forced into doing it, try to get them to bring out the things that they love," Hill adds.

The initial findings from Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland's Homeless Count can be found here.