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Family of 11 leaving Gloriavale for new life get help from Givealittle page - 'Start their lives from scratch'

A family of 11 people reportedly leaving the Gloriavale Christian community on the West Coast for a new life in Timaru are receiving help from a Givealittle crowdfunding campaign.

Timaru woman Liz Gregory and her husband Graham set up the page to try and help the family "start their lives from scratch".

Leaving the community will mean they are shunned and will no longer be able to contact the people there.

"It's a very difficult decision to leave, and it means they may never see their family and friends again. They have to start their lives from scratch in an unfamiliar environment," the Givealittle page reads.

The campaign has received significant support, including clothing and even an offer of employment for the father of the family. So far over $1000 has been raised via the crowdfunding drive.

Amanda Evans has visited the reclusive Christian community three times and says she simply doesn’t see the dark realities the media enjoys repeating. Source: Breakfast

They are now seeking a place to live and other items.

"The family needs an 11-12 seater van to fit them all, along with a vehicle for Dad to commute to work. Funds raised will also be used to help set the children up for school (uniforms, fees etc), and to enable the family to move into a suitable house," Ms Gregory writes.

Ms Gregory has formerly helped another Gloriavale set up a new life outside the community, taking in a family of 14 in 2015.

The family do not want to talk to media at this stage.

The community’s leaders are looking to set up a new health food enterprise on the West Coast. Source: 1 NEWS

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Watch: Housing Minister to look into claims state housing tenants renting out rooms on Airbnb

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says he will look into claims that state housing tenants are renting out rooms on Airbnb.

National Party MP Simon O'Connor said during Question Time today that Phil Twyford should already be aware of this taking place.

"Is it acceptable to him that state housing tenants are currently renting out their houses on Airbnb?" Mr O'Connor asked.

Mr Twyford replied that he wasn't aware they were but is "happy to look into it".

It was then that the National MP suggested he should already know about the matter.

"How can he not be aware if his officials advised the social services select committee that this is definitively the case," Mr O'Connor said.

Mr Twyford stood firm that he wasn't made aware of the issue.

"I was aware that MSD officials talked about the effect of Airbnb on regional housing and housing demand, but I was not aware that housing NZ tenants were leasing out properties out houses on Airbnb," Mr Twyford responded.

Mr O'Connor continued to press the matter asking: "Will he be taking any steps to stop this happening and if so how?"

"I will certainly be looking into it," Mr Twyford replied.

Shortly after the debate in Parliament Mr Twyford posted a tweet stating the only example of a state housing tenant renting out a property on Airbnb he could find happened when National was in power.

The claims come as some Airbnb hosts say they are going to leave the online accommodation service as a result of a new Auckland Council tax.

The council has introduced a new targeted rate for online accommodation providers to bring them in line with hotels and motels.
 

National's Simon O'Connor alleged during Question Time that Phil Twyford should already be aware of this taking place. Source: 1 NEWS