Silverfern properties

PHOTO: Silverfern Property Services is in liquidation after claiming $14 million in wage subsidies in 2020. Source:

A defunct Auckland company which received nearly $15 million to house the homeless now owes the government tens of thousands of dollars in wage subsidies and tax payments

Silverfern Property Services (SPS) was placed into liquidation in May, after receiving more money than any other emergency housing provider in the country.

In emails released to RNZ by the Ministry for Social Development, SFP describe themselves as running an “AirBnB business” giving shelter to needy families, going above and beyond to look for houses for homeless whānau.

And until last June, they did provide accommodation – taking Emergency Housing Grants from the Ministry for Social Development to put people in private rentals in Auckland.

But those who stayed there have a very different take on the places they found – including Rosemary Wharewera.

Wharewera and her two boys lived in emergency housing for two years and during that time were placed in three Silverfern properties.

There was the freezing sleepout – with its broken windows and damp bedding, then another two flats which were next to each other, one of which had no lock on the back door.