Te Puea marae chairman, Hurimoana Dennis, says the government shouldn't slacken off helping the homeless, as the marae prepares to close its doors by the end of next month. Dennis says ensuring the needs of the struggling families are being met, remains a priority.
From Sunday onwards, Te Puea marae will close its doors to the homeless. However, the marae's chair doesn't want the government to rest on its laurels.
“If they slacken off, they'll feel the outrage of the whole country. They must not slacken off. This is the time to continue to address this crisis,” says Mr. Dennis.
Over the last two months, the marae has been taking care of the homeless from the front, and back.
From August 26, the Manaaki Tangata service will no longer be accepting donations from the community. However, the marae will support other marae wanting to follow in their footsteps.
Te Puea Chair says, “If their purpose is like Manaaki Tangata, we will look after and support them by passing on the cash donations and resources we have.”
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says helping our most vulnerable is always a joint effort, and, she is pleased with how Te Puea marae and the government agencies have worked together to support the homeless.
The marae plans to extend an invitation to King Tuheitia to attend an official closing ceremony, on August 31.