The chairperson of Te Puea Marae says everyone needs to catch their breath and bring the homeless issue out of crisis mode and into manageable mode.
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has been accused of character assassination after her office leaked details of a police investigation concerning Hurimoana Dennis to a ONE News reporter.
But Mr Dennis told Q+A that while he was "caught by left field" by the events of the last week, the minister was very apologetic about what had happened and he's just got to get on with it and work with her office and any other agencies or groups who want to help.
All I'm focused on now is making sure that the families that we have got are treated respectfully and that we can find them a warm home.- Te Puea Marae chairperson Hurimoana Dennis
"It could have been better played out for sure, but at the end of the day, this topic is a sensitive one and something that we're treating very sensitively at our marae to help these people, 33 of them, that we've got there right now at the marae."
Mr Dennis says the words overcrowding, eviction, below the poverty line, bureaucracy and poor decision-making seem to be popping out all the time from whanau and they almost seem to be a precursor to ending up in your car.
"We've got families who are living in situations that aren't the best till it gets to the point where these families can no longer cope, and then they're ending up in their cars outside the driveways on the front lawn because they need to access the toilet and so on and so forth.
"And then before you know it, that gets too much for the families to cope with and they end up in the car park, and that's really sad."
A tier of our community is now sitting below the poverty line and we need to go back and pick them up and bring them forward to where everybody else is, says Mr Dennis.
"You've got mums and dads and kids who would otherwise be sitting next to you at the movie theatres, taking their kids to school, on the PTA, trust boards, sports coaches and all the rest of it who would normally be - they're normal parents, but after 4 o'clock in the afternoon, they seem to go into crisis mode, looking around for a safe place to sleep.
"In my opinion, the government can't be the first port of call when it comes to trying to fix these issues. For me, it's the family who need to step up to help the families, but the problem is this - a lot of their families are stressed as well...they're doing the best they can with what little they have."
From a kaupapa tikanga Maori perspective, whanau whanui, have a responsibility to look after their own, Mr Dennis says.
"We have a good process in place on our marae that a lot of people from grassroots have put together simply because they know what needs to happen and they can feel the pain of a lot of these families."
Two people rescued after getting caught out on Lake Wakatipu on an inflatable boat have prompted a reminder for people to be properly prepared when venturing out on the water.
The two people had only one lifejacket, the boat had no motor and the occupants were left with only one oar after the other one broke.
Police spent considerable time locating the pair and bringing them back to land in poor weather conditions.
Police said the incident could have ended very differently and could have been avoided had they been adequately prepared.
Police are talking to the pair about what happened and are reminding boating enthusiasts that at this time of year it can get very cold and the weather can change in an instant.
Police say it takes considerable resources to rescue the troubled boaties, taking them away from helping the public and attending and solving crimes.
Police, Maritime NZ and local authorities can all take enforcement action against people acting irresponsibly on the water.