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Ed Sheeran

Motels no place for mokopuna

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A Rotorua District councilor say help from central government is needed to cope with the homelessness crisis in the sulphur city.

Merepeka Raukawa Tait says there are more than 400 tamariki living in motels in Rotorua, and 85 percent of them would be Māori.

Motels are turning into a long term solution for the housing crisis rather than a short term response while other plans are made.

She says there should be specific motels for mothers and children, rather than them being mixed in with rough sleepers, deportees, people just out of prison, and gang affiliates.

"Children living in a motel, they've got no green spaces for them, they're playing out in the carpark, they're hearing the abuse and the violence and the drunkenness and taking of drugs that is going on so obviously there is a real concern about their safety, " Ms Raukawa Tait says.

Merepeka Raukawa Tait says while motels are being used as an alternative to rough sleeping or homelessness, there is no support attached, and problem behaviour is spilling onto the main streets of Rotorua.

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