Bennett breaks promise to support marae and homeless

Manurewa marae needed much better support from the Government in order to do its work helping homeless whanau, the Green Party said today.

This Wednesday is the last day of Manurewa Marae’s Whakapiki Ora programme, which has helped 72 whānau and found permanent homes for 28. The marae is unable to continue their good work without support and funding from the Ministry of Social Development.

“Their work at the marae has been challenging and really hard. What they have achieved is brilliant, but the Government has let them down,” Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson said today.

“Just last month, I got assurances from Minister Bennett in Parliament that she would provide more funding for services like Manurewa marae, but here we are a few weeks later seeing them close their doors because they can’t get the Government support they need to continue.

“Manurewa is my local community marae and I’ve seen with my own eyes its incredible success in supporting whānau who are in real need.

“If National is going to leave it up to marae and other community groups to help the homeless, then they should at least front up with the support that only the government can provide.

“I have been at the marae today and there are still a whole lot of whānau who don’t have anywhere to go. I’m talking with people who are in tears because they just can’t find a home or a place to live.

“The marae has told me today that this has been really hard work. I can see that they needed a heck of a lot more support from the Government.

“This is another example of an amazing community-driven project that has to struggle and struggle just to keep providing support because the Government is leaving whānau out in the cold.

“The Minister needs to honour that promise she made to me in the House, and properly fund projects like Manurewa Marae’s Whakapiki Ora project, so that they can keep helping those that need it most, like our Māori whanau,” said Ms Davidson.

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