'Strong signal to the Government' as hundreds sleep rough to support homeless

It's been a cold night for hundreds of people sleeping in cars at Mangere in South Auckland, but for them it was by choice.

People slept in their cars in support of those without homes, and to put pressure on the government to do something about it. Source: 1 NEWS

They wanted to show others who are forced to sleep in cars on a regular basis because of Auckland's housing crisis that they care and are fed up with the lack of support for them.

Mangere Labour MP Su'a William Sio and some of his colleagues braved the chill to join hundreds of people young and not so young for the overnight event which was organised by community groups and advertised on social media.

Mangere Labour MP Su'a William Sio and colleagues joined hundreds who chose to spend the night in cars to support others who are forced to do so regularly.

"This is about the community, and standing in soloidarity with those who are forced to sleep in cars," Mr Sio told ONE News. 

"It's about us sending a very strong signal to the Government that the environment that they've created where families are forced to sleep in cars is not the kind of environment that we pay our taxes for," he said.

"We want the Government to listen. We want the Government to take note. We want the Government to care about what's happening to the people of New Zealand."

Hundreds have turned up in Auckland's Mangere this evening to camp out in their cars in a show of solidarity for the growing number of homeless families. Source: 1 NEWS

Similar sentiments were shared by others at the sleepover with a difference, including father-of-two Reece Autagavaia.

He took his two and four-year-old sons who thought they were going camping, and said while it may be fun for them for a night it's a reality for too many children.

"It's a very hard, complex issue. I'm sure the Government will say. But at the same time it's quite easy and simple, just housing young kids, every kid, every child in New Zealand," Mr  Autagavaia said.

"And if there's a will then I'm sure there's a way. And we just need the political will to make things happen. So I don't have the solutions right here, right now. This is our way of supporting those in desperate situations. But we expect our political leaders to have the answers."