Labour leader Andrew Little has issued a challenge to Prime Minister John Key to visit South Auckland and view the living conditions of some of its residents.
The leader of the Opposition toured South Auckland today and met with those living in garages while a church leader predicted overcrowded slums will soon be common place throughout Manukau.
"You go to a family, you see a car parked out on the road because you see the garage being occupied by a family, it's almost normal," community church leader Lupe Tukutau said.
Charlotte Whippy said she was living in a garage alongside her partner because it was "affordable".
"They're right for saying that it's not good for young families staying in garages, I agree with that," she said.
Mr Little was in Otara today and said, "if we're not at crisis point, we're pretty close to it".
"This is an issue that has been building for a long time," inviting Mr Key to visit the poorer suburbs of Auckland.
However, Mr Key rejected the invitation and said, "I run my own schedule".
"I'm out and about in lots of communities, doing different things - today for instance I was visiting a WINZ office in Papanui."
Mr Key also denied he was "out of touch" with the realities of what is being described as an Auckland housing crisis.
"The Labour Party might want to say that … what I've said is you should go to Work and Income, most New Zealanders would agree with that, and it's logical."