Banning rough sleeping in Tauranga CBD?

‘No person shall sleep or otherwise occupy a footpath or road in the city centres….during the hours of darkness…'

Nelson's hardline stance with its rough-sleeping homeless. And the definition of footpath and road extends to benches or seats in the city centre. No half measures.

It's a hardline which Tauranga City Council may be forced to take.

“Banning rough sleeping on the CBD streets of Tauranga isn't something that's been considered in the past,” says deputy mayor, Kelvin Clout. “But it may be something we need to consider in the future.”

But cleaning up mainstreet would be tempered with compassion and caring.

“Such a bylaw would only be introduced if there were alternative support services in place to assist those who would otherwise be sleeping rough,” says Kelvin.

Nelson's bylaw was prompted by a CBD ‘occupier and protester', a man with a long-standing grievance against council.

He and his supporters had their bedding and possessions littered along the entire frontage of the Farmers store.

It looked unkempt, was bad for business, created low level disorder and drew drunks to the CBD causing anti-social behaviour. That was enough for the Nelson City Council.

Tauranga's problem is more one of homelessness than protest. But the upshot is the same.

“It's undesirable to have people sleeping in doorways and places that are high visibility,” says Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregic.

“Especially when it impacts on foot traffic and consequently their business.”

The Chamber of Commerce wouldn't be opposed to a bylaw. Neither would Mainstreet Tauranga, the retailers group. It's seeing more and more homeless people. And associated problems.

“There are instances when they (the homeless) can be intimidating for shoppers and business owners and this can indeed have an impact on our members' ability to run their business,” says spokesperson Sally Cooke.

It never wants to see a situation where customers aren't entering a business because they feel intimidated by what is happening on the street.

Earlier this week a SunMedia reporter took a wander down Devonport Rd just after 7am.

A man was cocooned in a bundle of covers in the doorway of a vacant shop in the Hedley building, his feet protruding onto the footpath.

Trucks were delivering, cars were up and down the street, people were walking to work, across the road a butcher shop was filling a window display, but the vagrant slept on.

When he became aware of the reporter's presence, he didn't appreciate the intrusion into what he considered his space. He lobbed an expletive, rolled over on the cold hard tiles and went back to sleep.

Kelvin Clout sees hope for this man – the housing first model which aims to put chronically homeless people with multiple and complex needs into permanent, secure and appropriate housing with wrap-around support services.

“Tauranga has been recognised as a priority area for funding for the model,” says Kelvin. “And it's anticipated to have both an immediate and lasting effect for rough sleepers.”

He says council staff are also working with a social worker from St Peters House to conduct joint, weekly visits to homeless people sleeping rough to provide assistance. The council's also providing the homeless families and individuals with shower facilities at Arataki Community Centre. An average of eight to 10 people per day are using the showers.

Meanwhile retailers are dealing with “an increasing prevalence” of problems with the homeless. “There does need to be compassion,” says Sally Cooke.

“But this needs to be balanced with our members' rights as business owners and the safety of our public on the city centre streets. So we urge the appropriate organisations to look at every way this can be addressed.”



33 Comments

The

Posted on 18-10-2017 08:28 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Perhaps it is a lot easier than we all think, simply provide these people accommodation and take the money out of the benfit to pay for it, give them a card for groceries only. whatever remains they can have in cash. That would eliminate several problems including: - living on the streets, drub/booze abuse/addiction and hey presto ... bye bye problem.

@ maybelle

Posted on 12-10-2017 22:53 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Exactly! Certainly hard to to now try and remedy after the event, like when they are adults ...

Where has the Kiwi fighting spirit gone?

Posted on 11-10-2017 08:53 | By maybelle

Maybe it starts at school where climbing trees, bulrush and cops and robbers is banned because it is too dangerous, or maybe because everyones a winner in a running race, or there is no more spelling level tests to aim higher, or if caught stealing to be made to return it and face the consequences,,if one really wants something go and earn it instead of expecting it to be given. I think as children we need competitiveness, goals,to risk getting hurt, to learn responsibility for actions, to learn that being an adult is to be able to support oneself. A lack of positive application to strive to be better in our school curriculum needs addressing as this encourages self worth. And dose up on vitamin Bs to help a healthy mind and maybe we ll see less homeless...

@ Bella Lecta-lossetta

Posted on 10-10-2017 19:38 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Simple in fact is all it requires, many a simple mind thinks to much and complicates all for no useful purpose. real intellegence can see through all that and cut to the mustard and get the truth on the table in an instant. Sorry mate, that has happened way to quickly for you, perhaps have another read and read it again... again... when a little speck appears (like a mile off tunnel exit) then you have a hint of the right direction to be heading. Hint: I would expect that you will needs years to catch up on all this, good luck. God-save-the-Ratepayer,-as-no-one-else-wants-to,-10/4-out!

@ dysfunction Bella Lecta-lossa

Posted on 10-10-2017 16:23 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Of course previous attempts to remedy failed, if you operate a pansy wet behind the ears ... wheres my mummy setup organised by a bunch of officials all being PC and la-de-da of course it is agoing to be a disaster, totally predicable, what other outcome would you expect? I am talking of a real army type organised, no holds barred, work gang type setup. Up at 6am, work 5-6 days in groups, make a decent work force out of it. In for a minimum stay, after that can leave anytime as long as a real job to go to. God-save-the-Ratepayer,-as-no-one-else-wants-to,-10/4-out!

Simple minded overview,

Posted on 10-10-2017 08:22 | By R. Bell

is your bag in life missy. It's why you never get your way. The bottle, pokies and drugs all contribute but are all symptoms. The true causes run much deeper, not something you will ever understand.Nor can you ever compute an answer, you are devoid of creativity, and required intelligence. Enough from me, you can have the last word, to feed your ego. Possibly the most important thing in your life. Robin Bell.

@ Bella Lecta-lossa

Posted on 09-10-2017 11:55 | By MISS ADVENTURE

It is apparent that (like a lot you type online) that you are serverly disconnected from reality. The simple fact remains that the so called "homeless" are mostly those "chose" to be where they are, that of course very much includes those whose choices in life are that a bottle, a one-armed bandit or drugs are more important than anything else. yes some desire (not need) help, but as I have already said, you are indeed wasting your time providing nice warm comfy things to thise who have not earned it, who are essentially on an "entitled" hand out gravy train.

Claims and more claims missy,

Posted on 08-10-2017 09:09 | By R. Bell

You are full of them, none can be verified from your position in the anonymous closet. I don't believe you, you cannot verify, nor can you influence, it is nonsense. Now you want to send "them"to the South Island. Why not the Chatham's, its all been done before, didn't work then, won't work now. Those that choose to be homeless do so from a position of dysfunction caused by a myriad of problems, impossible to rectify in your boot camp. Think about it man, your pseudo intellectual claptrap would cost a fortune to implement. A surcharge on rates and a facility to house these folk, would be a better answer on a regional basis. They are our problem. Robin Bell.

@ Bella Lecta-lossa

Posted on 07-10-2017 11:42 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The simple answer is "yes". Some do indeed chose to live on the street and have the means to not do so. The choices that they make place them there, this is really it, what actually happens. Of course there are plenty of other reasons for others being there, as you wil have to realise is that there are more than one reason(s) for the same result. That is the case with street people. Like unemployed and so on the sending them off to a central north/south island location for training would remedy the issue in no time, you just need to think about it a little to get up to speed.

Got it sussed out!

Posted on 06-10-2017 12:09 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Yes, I am suggesting that: - some want help to get out of where they are, that some 'chose' to be there and that others battle whatever demons to be there. make of it what you will. But in end result no one can be helped if they dont want to be helped, some chose the life and lifestyle becasue that is what they want for whatever reason. That very much includes Poppa and yourself for starters. I'ave been out there,dealt with the needs and dramas, all of it here and elsewhere, hence my view expressed with first hand knowledge and experiences of dealing with the mix of people and the issues involved. It makes ones view that's 'realistic' and perhaps harsh as maybe seen by some, but only with actual knowledge can you express a view worth listening to. I say it, not because you might like it.

Simple really, missy

Posted on 05-10-2017 17:12 | By R. Bell

You will get no argument from me on that score, you really are. How can you possibly expect dis functional people to rationalise their situation if you can't? They all need help in one way or another. Or are you suggesting, living rough is a lifestyle choice, by a totally rational person? If you are then I suggest you join them for a while and see if you can decide who is " genuine" and who is not. Robin Bell.

@ Bella Lecta-tossa

Posted on 05-10-2017 15:33 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You say "answer to everything is the same.......... " perhaps you should read it again. I am all for helping those who want to help themesleves to remedy a bad situaiton be that addiction, illness or whatever. I consider it a waste of everyines time to try to help those who do not want it. Simple really

What a heartless man,

Posted on 04-10-2017 16:35 | By R. Bell

you are missy. Your answer to everything is the same.......... Ban it. Many homeless people are temporarily disoriented many have mental health problems, many are middle aged, all need help............., but not from you of course. Thank the god you keep calling on, we don't have people like you making decisions. Robin Bell.

@ poppa and others

Posted on 04-10-2017 15:18 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You can only help thise who wish to be helped. By obvious definition you can not help thise who do not want to be helped and who in fact refuse help and/or what to for whatever reason decide that they want to do/think/act their way. Perfect examples of this are R Bell, P Dey and Poppa here in our midst ehre and now. No one knows better, no one can help them to see the light, no one can divert the entrenched position taken even though repeatedly the facts, evidence and science are absolutely overwhelming. The same applies to the same kind of mind set on the streets, they dont want help often, they just want easy street to nearest bar, bottle store, poky machine or whatever. Some realise and seek help, those only are the ones that all services should muster together for and help.

@ Poppsa-cull

Posted on 04-10-2017 13:55 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You say "Advocating "a place for them to go" might solve it for the present homeless". Actually it doesnt as the current facility only provides 1-3 nights then they are dumped back outside (Flintstones - Deno style) so nothing is resolved at all. What is required is to send all these no hopers off the boot camp, a real one. That they learn about having order in life, providing for themselves and that they alone are responsible for their own actions and the consequences. When they return 6-12 months later they will either have sorted themseves out of crashed and burned. Either way the 'oh porr me ..." entitlement attitude of bludging off everyone else will be sorted.

Giving power to ban anyone....

Posted on 04-10-2017 02:52 | By GreertonBoy

From anywhere is a very dangerous practice. I always thought as New Zealander, I have the constitutional right to freedom of movement/travel around NZ? To ban a New Zealander from a particular place in NZ could lead to banning other people for other reasons? What if the homeless ban gets enforced, then the powers that be decide to ban motorcycles from the CBD? Or, they might remove park benches because people are banned from sitting/loitering on a park bench? There is too many risks starting the 'ban' ball rolling imo. We need to encourage the homeless not to use the CBD, find out why they are homeless? Maybe provide a safe place for them to stay.... we need to get to the root cause and cure it (attempt a cure) rather than just giving authorities the power to ban individuals from being in a public place

Society in general is to blame,

Posted on 03-10-2017 09:06 | By R. Bell

that's all of us. Whenever this subject arises we get the same old pontificating. Move the problem on to somewhere else, anywhere but our "back yard". Papamoaner is correct, but surely a decent into poverty for all cannot work. A complete change in attitude, from judgemental criticism of all who "fail" creating resentment and anti social behavior, to an understanding that life does not create equality, but rather a challenge to those who succeed. That challenge is to recognise "failure" as inevitable for a miriad of reasons ( even in the Phil's). Failure can be mitigated by the slow process of targeted education, encouragement along racial and cultural lines, and incentives to be part of our success, without the constant judgement. It all costs money, and therein lies the problem. Robin Bell.

I can only agree...........

Posted on 02-10-2017 18:11 | By groutby

....with your comments Papamoaner, the morality and "give a s**t ability, (aka "diminishing culture") of both younger and to an extent sadly older folk is widespread over more recent years in my opinion, but to think nothing cannot be corrected is something I hope we do NOT give up on easily, although it is "easy" to do, and "easy" is what most want now it seems. Personally I do totally agree with the parenting comment, but sadly like many others perhaps have no one clear solution.....

Interesting posts, but mostly miss the point

Posted on 02-10-2017 09:35 | By Papamoaner

Advocating "a place for them to go" might solve it for the present homeless, but it doesn't fix the primary problem. Why are they homeless? - Because they have no money and no work. That's because they have no qualifications and no direction. That's because they have insufficient education. That's because they fell off the wagon at school. That could be the result of a number of causes, probably mainly bad parenting resulting in no parental support or encouragement. It all comes back to diminishing culture in society, not just here, but all around the world. BUT. take a look at poorer countries like the Philippines where you will find the school kids immaculately dressed and educated, despite their living in shacks because their parents are very poor, but with a very high appreciation of life's priorities. That's the pivotal difference!

Ban them but where do they go?

Posted on 30-09-2017 18:00 | By jed

I'm pragmatic, they have no place to go. Police will collect them off the street and throw them in jail...they will be released in the morning and back on the street.Largely a waste of police time, the cause needs addressing.

So many thoughts......

Posted on 29-09-2017 21:05 | By groutby

......come up in regard to this, for me, I would actively support the comment from Angels ( very thoughtful and rational in my view) in regard to any temporary shelter in a potential museum "shell" building...if, and when the issue is resolved, then if the support for a museum is there after a local referendum, then so be it.....let's do it. However, it would need to be temporary surely and run with maybe "within itself"..so occupants assist with the "day to day" running (cleaning/cooking/hygiene etc) of the building and achieve a status to enable them to rejoin a "normal" way of life as soon as possible. Onsite assistance in regard to future re-integration from skilled and qualified staff, along with shall we say "security" may be offered from Police (not now required to process issues throughout multiple sites during the night) could help. I am supportive, anyone else?

FIND A SOLUTION

Posted on 29-09-2017 17:03 | By jeancraven@kinect.co.nz

Find a solution quickly to help these people get off the streets day and night. Excrement was all over the back of Holy Trinity Church this morning.................

Ha ha, what a joke

Posted on 29-09-2017 15:26 | By CC8

The key words here are "during the hours of darkness" .... how many shops are open during the hours of darkness? A small percentage! The obvious safest time to sleep for a homeless person is during the day! At night it is easier to be awake and looking around for something to sell , eat, or keep warm and dry! Only a small number chose to be homeless, but some who find themselves in that situation are often too proud or embarrassed to accept charity... What most of the really want is an opportunity . a hand up not a hand out , and certainly NOT compulsory "accommodation". How the hell does a homeless person get from the CBD to Arataki for a shower? Hello!!

Not a just a local issue.

Posted on 29-09-2017 14:35 | By Papamoaner

This is a world-wide trend wherever there is affluent civilisation. There is no short answer. Many social workers have had a go at the problem with little success. You can lead a horse to water etc.@Misadventure;- as usual, your analogy about justice is flawed. Take a look at the success story of Singapore due to the measures implemented by Mr Lee Quan Yew - today! Forget about "a thousand years ago". In the last few years Singapore has shelved two major prison extension projects due to "a shortage of inmates" On a harder note, here in NZ, some building owners have installed periodic timer water spray systems over doorways. It seems to have worked because the sleepers up-camp and move on.

Been there.

Posted on 29-09-2017 13:56 | By morepork

In my reckless youth I travelled the planet (before Internet and cuddle blankets like Skype and Facebook) and occasionally found myself in a strange country with no shelter, friends, or food, and, sometimes, not even able to speak the language... I have "slept rough" and I have also experienced the amazing kindness of strangers who had nothing, but would give you half of it... I always did my best to make sure that people who had helped me, got a return on their kindness. And I came to understand the nature of the Human condition. "The poor are always with us." Sadly, so are the bludgers. We need to distinguish between the two, and provide help to people who actually need it, and attitude adjustment to those who don't.

@MISS ADVENTURE

Posted on 29-09-2017 13:45 | By morepork

You are correct that a ban won't stop it, but it does then afford a legal remedy because the Law is being broken. Currently, there is no legal reason why they can't be there. (Probably could charge them with "obstruction" but it is pretty pointless...). Some of them will figure that at least in jail they get fed and have shelter, but most people don't realize the effect of losing the freedom we take for granted, until they actually lose it. My solution is: Don't give them MONEY; give them help, where it is warranted and they are prepared to accept it. Making it illegal gives the Police more options and provides the option of jailing persistent repeat offenders. The most important deterrent to this way of life is that it should NOT be profitable.

@Angels

Posted on 29-09-2017 13:32 | By morepork

I congratulate (and share) your kind and compassionate position. People DO need help and we should provide it. BUT, not all who are on the streets are there because they HAVE to be. If nobody ever gave MONEY to people begging for it (give an offer of food or beverage or clothing, or point out that shelter is available) the streets of both Greerton and the CBD would be much less cluttered, very quickly. The people who REALLY want to be "outside the system" and sleep rough need to realize that places of commerce are not the place to do it. They are there because the kindness of passers-by makes it profitable. If it wasn't profitable they would be sleeping in the bush or out-of-town. You can only help people who actually WANT to be helped, and that is a lot different from people who simply want your money.

@ backofthequeue

Posted on 29-09-2017 13:17 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Yes that is the truth of it, meanwhile they sit there wondering why shopper numbers are dropping in the CBD, throw lots of ratepayyers monies at it all and it jsut gets worse regardless. Such is the wanders of pointy heads in glass towers.

From 1894

Posted on 29-09-2017 13:02 | By wazzock

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread. Anatole France

banning?

Posted on 29-09-2017 11:33 | By MISS ADVENTURE

a thousand years ago murder was rewarded with execution, that still did not deter offenders. A "ban" I am sure will be less effective by a large margin.

Good idea

Posted on 29-09-2017 11:23 | By overit

Move on.

What shoppers?

Posted on 29-09-2017 09:55 | By backofthequeue

"(the homeless) can be intimidating for shoppers..." yet if you listen to CBD business owners their long running and greatest gripe is the misguided Council decisions that continue to keep shoppers out of the CBD.

Let them sleep in our new museum

Posted on 29-09-2017 09:38 | By Angels

This is not right. The poor usually have mental problems and require our help.Council is determined to build a museum against the majority. Let the poor sleep in their at least it would be used all the time, not just very now and then.We must help the poor . Museum would at leasrpt have a good use to house the poor

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