Manurewa Marae soldiers on to help the homeless

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

Sixty Eight homeless people are being sheltered under Manurewa Marae's Whakapiki Ora programme.  Behind the scenes, social service staff and volunteers are working hard to help.

Volunteer Julieanne Martin-Te Hira says there are many in need to feed.

When asked what happens to the leftovers, Martin-Te Hira said, “We container it up and take it up to the homeless at the Methodist church up in Southmall.”

However, the community support keeps pouring in.

Whakapiki Ora spokesperson Tunuiarangi McLean says they’ve just received sausages from the Mad Butcher and there's still food coming.

“Some of our groups, who've come, Rowandale school teachers, they come on Monday's and Tuesday's to cook.  Another group is the Rātana Church within Manurewa,” said McLean

Since the marae opened its doors eight days ago to the homeless, they are sheltering 31 adults, nine men and 28 children.

Whakapiki Ora host Te Puawaitanga Matene said, “Firstly we need to find out what the needs are of families who come.  Direct them to get assistance from WINZ, Housing New Zealand, and also from help from students social workers from TWoA and MIT.”

On Friday the first family of two brothers from Whakapiki Ora will move into accommodation with further support of a local community group.