Pilot emergency housing programme at Manurewa Marae ends

09 November 2016.

The Ministry of Social Development has been working closely with Manurewa Marae since they started their pilot emergency housing programme Whakapiki Ora.

The 12 month contract for funding that the Marae agreed with us only covered the accommodation part of this service and allowed for a trial period to test the feasibility of the service. The Marae wanted to make sure that providing this service would not disrupt their other work.

The 12-week pilot programme offered emergency housing accommodation and wrap-around support to families and people who were homeless. It has been gratifying to see the community and other agencies, like Te Puni Kokiri, step in to help the Marae meet some of those other costs. We also had three Ministry staff working at the Marae to assist these families with any employment and financial needs they had, alongside housing support.

Accommodation was provided both within the main wharenui and in five portacoms. Those families staying in the wharenui were only able to do so Monday to Thursday, having to stay in motels when the wharenui closed. As well as closing each weekend, the Marae had unscheduled closures for tangi and other events, which added further strain to families already under heavy pressure.

As the end of the pilot drew near we discussed with the Marae whether the service should continue. As the Marae was able to provide a good undisrupted service to those families in portacoms we offered to keep funding them for this. The Marae didn’t want to continue with this service. As a result of the conversations the Ministry and the Marae agreed to end the service at the conclusion of the pilot.

We have invited the Marae to consider continuing to provide emergency and to apply to join the Ministry’s emergency housing provider panel. Providers on this panel will have access to the emergency housing funding announced this week by Minister Bennett. We know that in making the decision to close their service the Marae was concerned about ongoing funding for the services not covered in their initial contract. This new funding will give us more flexibility in contracting for these services.

We appreciate that it’s a stressful time for those still staying at the Marae, however, we will work with these families to make sure they have somewhere to stay just as we did when the Marae had unexpected closures. We’ll continue to support these families with the help they need.


Manurewa Marae has received $78,960 for its emergency housing service since July 2016.

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