Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Second homeless forum makes progress

Second homeless forum makes progress

A second forum to discuss the issue of homelessness was held at the Rotorua District Council (RDC) Civic Centre this week (26 March), with wide representation from community partners who work with homeless people.

The forum was held to present the findings of work undertaken since the first Night Shelter forum in February, and to seek community agreement on a way forward for the Night Shelter Society.

Work undertaken by council staff had involved research into the extent of the homeless problem in Rotorua, and gathering information about services currently available.

Councillor Janet Wepa, portfolio lead for the council’s Sustainable Living Strategy, said it had become clear that there was already a substantial amount of work being done to care for the homeless in Rotorua. She said creating a night shelter might therefore not be the priority at this time.

“There are currently at least six organisations providing emergency accommodation for Rotorua residents, and at least seven groups providing free food. There are also agencies providing assistance with travel costs for non-Rotorua residents, advocacy support, and free medical, mental health and addiction services.

“At the first forum, it was agreed that what was needed in the first instance was a greater understanding of what organisations currently do, and better communication between those organisations,” said Mrs Wepa.

A directory of homeless services is currently being compiled, with a new chapter to be added to the council’s 2014 Good Health Directory. A ‘quick guide’ is also being developed, listing all organisations that provide assistance with accommodation, food and other immediate needs.

Those resources would assist anyone working with homeless people to quickly find out what services are available to meet the needs of those individuals.

Research had also enabled gaps in services to be identified, such as emergency accommodation for families in need and access to shower and laundry facilities.

Rotorua Community Night Shelter Society chair, Barney Jewell, said the society was currently looking to set up a new base where people would be able to access information about services available to the homeless, with volunteers providing immediate assistance to those in need.

“By supporting those organisations currently working with the homeless in Rotorua, we’ll go a long way to solving the problem of homelessness in our community. We’ll continue to monitor the need for a night shelter, but the current focus is on supporting the work of other organisations,” said Mr Jewell.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said it was great to see progress on the issue and a greater understanding of services already available in the city.

“Through the partnership with the Night Shelter Society and other community stakeholders, I believe we’re on the right track for finding sustainable solutions to the problem. The council will continue to work together with these parties and provide support.

“I look forward to the day when everyone in our community who needs a home, has access to one. That would fit well with our Rotorua 2030 vision, and I think it’s something we should all aspire to.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news