Whānau endure poverty during festive season

By Te Kāea
  • Auckland

It's a new year but the struggle continues. with few lending a helping hand. 

Julie King says, "It's a very vulnerable time. Although its a time where everyone is on break, the poverty doesn't go on break, its constant throughout the year. This is a time where we probably need more help than ever."

"It can be quite challenging because we get really tired. "

King should be on holiday but helping those in need is her priority.

"Especially at this time of the year we all want to have a break. I guess, a lot of people are quite vulnerable, maybe they're missing their family. It's just a challenging time for some. Everyone's got unique cases but we still get requests for help." 

There are approximately 40,000 people living in poverty in New Zealand, with 24,000 said to be in Auckland alone. Most of this food and clothes are donated to those in need. 

This is one whānau of the hundreds struggling to make ends meet.

"What does this mean for you and your whanau? We get to eat. I pay for the rent for this house and there's very little left over," says New Te Wiata. 

They're not homeless, but the whānau are burdened by the rising cost of living in Auckland. 

Te Wiata says, "It is really difficult. If it wasn't for Julie and love soup, I don't know how we'd survive." 

"When anyone is in trouble, they turn up with a box of food and a cuddle. You know and that cuddle means more than the box of food actually," says Charles.

Those on the ground say the situation most whānau living in poverty face will worsen as the holiday period comes to an end.