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John Campbell issued trespass notice while investigating caravan park declared unfit for children

Breakfast's John Campbell was issued a trespass notice yesterday, while investigating a West Auckland caravan park that costs up to $500 a week and has been declared unfit as a place for children to live. 

The units in Western Park Village in Ranui have no toilet, bathroom, or stove top - only communal facilities and very little space to bring up children in.

The housing crisis for these people is their everyday life, and have led to more calls for the Government to work harder to help vulnerable New Zealanders.

These places cost around $500 a week, which a lot of tenants can’t afford, so WINZ pays the rest.

While touring the facility with Alwyn Poole from Villa Education Trust, which teaches some of the kids from the camping ground, Campbell was asked to leave by a manager.

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Bernie Smith told Breakfast “they could have shut it down”. Source: Breakfast

Campbell was then issued a trespass notice, as the manager refused to answer questions.

"These would be their most vulnerable kids and they're not doing them any favours whatsoever," Mr Poole said.

"School aged children live here, children under five, those kids just haven't got a hope."

The Ministry of Social Development has called the living conditions a last resort and unfit for children.

Despite this, tenants at the park are not on a waiting list to be moved somewhere better.

Housing Minister and MP for the electorate Phil Twyford initially declined to comment about the situation.

However Campbell crashed his transport announcement this morning, where Mr Twyford was celebrating 100 million trips on public transport in the past year in Auckland, to ask him if he thinks it is reasonable that children are living in places like Western Park Village.

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Phil Twyford told Breakfast’s John Campbell the Government is doing all it can to solve the housing crisis. Source: 1 NEWS

He responded: "I don't think the Western Park Village is a good place for families, in particular young children.

"I'm sad to say it is not unusual. There are places like Western Park, campgrounds all around Auckland and New Zealand," he said.

"The housing crisis is utterly unsatisfactory and the conditions that people are living in in campgrounds like Western Park are unsatisfactory, that's the problem we are dealing with."

Campbell then asked what was doing to fix this crisis.

The Housing Minister said, "The government has just put $193 million into Housing First to help the long term homeless into warm, dry and secure housing."

"We have the funding for the next four years for 2700 transitional housing places... ...and investing $4 billion into state houses in the four-year period," he told Campbell.

Also on Breakfast today, Bernie Smith of the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust told Campbell the concern is that the Government has known about this situation for so long.

"They could have shut it down, they could have made Housing New Zealand properties available and transferred people into more appropriate housing," he said.

"No one has done so because it appears to be too big, but it doesn't have to be."

He said the problem is there is "no housing pipeline".

"Even this Government that ridiculed the previous Government in what it did and didn't do hasn't been able to create a pipeline so that people can go from transitional housing into private rentals."


 

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There are calls for the Government to work harder to help vulnerable Kiwis with good housing. Source: 1 NEWS