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Park Up For Homes in Hamilton and Napier on July 23

In the height of winter, as wind lashes and rain pours, the #ParkUpForHomes movement is going to extra lengths to show that it is not tolerable for whānau to be braving this kind of weather without adequate housing to keep them safe and warm.

Stoic supporters will be parking up overnight in Hamilton and Napier this coming Saturday, July 23 to show solidarity with those for whom living this way has become an appalling reality. 

The Park Up For Homes movement of peaceful protests all share a common goal of seeing an increased Government response to the growing housing crisis and measures to create a better safety net for the most vulnerable who are being squeezed out of housing and into cars, garages and caravan parks. The family friendly rallies will include free entertainment and sausage sizzles. 

#ParkUp: Hamilton is being run by members of the Hamilton community. Annie Williams, one of the key organisers for #ParkUp: Hamilton has been speaking out about the lack of affordable housing for many years, and is concerned that the problem is getting worse. 

"It’s just not right that we have such a problem with homelessness in New Zealand - and it’s not just in the bigger cities, it’s here too and it’s getting worse," says Williams. 

 "It should not be this way, and we should be doing more. Our Government has a responsibility to ensure that all children have the opportunity to the best possible start in life. We are failing them." 

Wai Tupaea, spokesperson for #ParkUp: Napier: says homelessness is a New Zealand-wide issue, affecting more and more of New Zealand’s youth who are finding themselves on the street. 

"This needs to be rectified urgently. Since 2011 the Hawke's Bay has lost 377 state houses. We have families still on the waiting list, and an augmented list of our brothers and sisters living on the streets," says Tupaea. 

"We are committed as a movement to highlighting these issues. Enough is enough - our Government needs a solution to providing affordable and adequate housing for those who are in the most desperate need now." 

Recent #ParkUpForHomes events have had a good turnout of local MPs and the organisers are hopeful that this support will continue in their areas.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) are supporting the #ParkUpForHomes campaign and have outlined a number of policy measures they believe will turn this crisis around.

CPAG Housing spokesperson Alan Johnson says it is encouraging to know so many Kiwis do care and he hopes the Government does too. 

 "This growing problem of street and carpark homelessness will not disappear by simply rezoning paddocks," says Johnson. "The Government should be throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into Housing New Zealand so that it can build more state houses on land it already owns." 

The #ParkUp: Hamilton location is set to be at the Fairfield Park Car Park, Clarkin Road, and the Fairfield Community Centre Car Park (Te Whare o Te Ata) Sare Crescent. #ParkUp: Napier will be held at Clive Square, Napier. Visit the Facebook event pages for for information or to RSVP.

Further events are in the pipelines for Palmerston North, North Shore and Parnell in Auckland. 

Visit the #Parkupforhomes Facebook page to find out about more events in your area, or email parkupforhomes@gmail.com for more information.