Marama Davidson

PHOTO: Marama Davidson 

Marama Davidson says it’s “unacceptable” homeless teenagers are being left to compete against one another for spaces in emergency accommodation.

Newshub Nation on Saturday aired the story of 18-year-old Hannah, who spent years on the streets and in accommodation provided by a charity. She’s now in Government-provided emergency accommodation, but says it’s an awful place to live.

“My room has been broken into so many times,” she told Newshub Nation. “I have to start putting my table and chairs by my sliding door and my main door… there are drug users there and some of them are on methamphetamine.”

Provider Lifewise told the show they will regularly have 20 teenagers applying for a single room, sending most back onto the street.

Half of New Zealand’s estimated 41,000 homeless are under 25. Those who haven’t been in the care of Oranga Tamariki have little options but to stay on the street if they can’t get a spot in emergency accommodation.

“That story was heartbreaking,” Davidson told Newshub Nation after it aired. She is Associate Minister for Housing with responsibility for addressing homelessness, and has been for 10 months now.