During my time as manager of Tauranga Women's Refuge, I worked with and heard from many women and their children who were homeless in our city.
Many of these families had fled violence with a resulting poverty attached.
Commonly, they had nowhere to go and, even if they did find somewhere to live, they couldn't afford to pay all of their bills due to high-cost rent.
Social housing was oversubscribed, and couch surfing or living in garages, cars, tents or temporary motel rooms became the norm.
I'm genuinely pleased that our government has a plan to transform the economy and rebuild the foundations of health, education and housing to improve the living standards of all New Zealanders.
We’re pulling out all the stops to support people in need and urgently increase housing supply this winter.
Homelessness is the sharp end of the national housing crisis which was created over the past decade.
New Zealand needs more houses and we’re working on this. I was thrilled to hear that Housing Minister Phil Twyford has listened to our concerns around housing issues in Tauranga and has delivered.
Tauranga is earmarked to receive our share of the government’s $100 million housing investment, particularly around the Housing First Initiative, which sees those suffering from chronic homelessness housed and wraparound services put in place to address other needs.
We will not sit idle and let the situation get worse, No-one should be sleeping in their car this winter.