Chief Human Rights Commissioner sees transitional housing in Far North

Solutions to the government’s emergency housing crisis were highlighted in a visit by the Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Paul Hunt, to Kaitaia-based He Korowai Trust on Monday.

“Today I’ve seen how a people-focused, mana-enhancing approach to housing can lift people out of homelessness with a sense of dignity. The public have seen plenty of distressing scenes from emergency and transitional housing in recent months across our screens. But this should not be the enduring image of efforts to help people out of homelessness,” says Hunt.

The Chief Commissioner was shown around He Korowai Trust’s transitional housing facilities and their rent-to-own affordable homes.

"Alongside the human rights issues we have heard in the emergency housing system, the Human Rights Commission’s housing inquiry has also heard innovative and deeply compassionate efforts to lift people out of homelessness,” says Hunt.

The positive experiences have tended to be in transitional housing, where wrap-around support is provided.

“It is fitting to see these solutions firsthand today in the work that He Korowai Trust are doing,” says Hunt.

The Chief Commissioner says such approaches that uplift the dignity of people are inherent in the kaupapa Māori approaches to homelessness he had reviewed.

“It is crucial Tangata Whenua solutions to homelessness are listened to by government agencies both because most people living in transitional housing are Tangata Whenua, and because as we’ve seen today, these solutions more naturally dignify people and promote their human rights,” says Hunt.

The Human Rights Commission will release its housing inquiry report into the government’s emergency housing system on Tuesday 13th December.

You can read more about the work of He Korowai Trust and the Chief Commissioner’s visit here: