Reflecting Karangahape Road

Mel SAms
Resident artist Mel Sams adding character to trash bins along K’ Road

By Christopher Evans

A group of artists with experience of homelessness have introduced a splash of colour on Karangahape Road.

The redevelopment of one of Auckland’s most iconic thoroughfares provided opportunities for art.

The vibrant art reminds residents, workers and visitors of the distinctive character of this part of our city.

Artists including the Lifewise sponsored Piki Toi Collective have turned rubbish bins, and other street furniture, into art.

The seats the Piki Toi crew painted are a homage to Hape, Karangahape Rd and links to Ihumātao.

“We’ve named our seats te karanga a Hape, says Tiare Turetahi, Ngati Kahungunu. The the seats’ korero is about our connection to whenua and how important it is to our wellbeing. Making this work on K’ Road has given us the opportunity to share this story with other artists involved in the Harunga project and sharing whakawhanaungatanga with other people on the street.”

Karangahape Road has long been a haven for disenfranchised Aucklanders and people living at the edge of society.

The redevelopment is part of the city rail link project.

This major development will change the fabric of this pulsating inner city community.

Although change has benefits it is important to retain the essence of what makes K’ Road special.

Karangahape Road is a place where people who feel marginalized have a place to belong, be part of a community and a family.

The road is named after the legend of Hape. Hape was excluded from boarding the Tainui Waka, leaving Hawaiki, because he had a club foot.

However he wasn’t one to be left behind and hitched a ride with a stingray.

He beat his brothers here and performed a Karanga, traditional welcome, upon their arrival in Point England.

“This project is part of a plan to liven the streets while the infrastructural projects are ongoing,” says Michael Richardson, K’ Road Business Association. We identified the Harunga Project as an exciting opportunity to provide a temporary platform for the precincts’ creative community. It livens the streets with vibrancy, creativity and colour. The artists involved have developed their concepts to reflect heritage and explore future visions for this creative precinct.” 

Peer Support

Peer Support by Six,,

Homeless Helping Homeless

If you’re down and out and there seems no place to turn, LifeWise offer peer support for the homeless by people who have been homeless.

Government departments, dispute processes and legal matters can be hard to deal with when you’re just dealing day to day or pay to pay.

Craig Schaumkell, peer support worker, Tainui and German, says there is a lot of stuff that is handy to know.

“When my dad died I came back from overseas to help my mum and to heal myself, says Craig. I thought my mum would know what to do, but she didn’t. And neither did I. I struggled to get any sort of help. Not knowing what I was entitled to made me really angry. It is really handy to know what your entitlements are.

Some of our people struggle with the processes.

We’re dealing with people with addictions. We’re dealing with people with mental health issues and illiteracy. They are lacking a lot of skills.

I struggled myself a bit at school. I had to learn a lot of things including how to deal with people in general.”

Justine McFarlane, Programme Lead, Community Services, grew up all over the world but has called New Zealand home for the last 20 years.

Justine says she met her husband in Hong Kong and he bought her to Aotearoa where the couple have raised two daughters.

Justine has managed her own small business and worked for Work and Income NZ before joining the LifeWise team a little more than a year ago

There are two parts to peer support, says Justine.

“Sometimes you just need someone who has had that life experience to talk to, says Justine. Often people just need someone to listen to them.”

Justine also explains that a lot of the work is offering advise, to advocate or assist.

Common problems peer support workers face include, how to access emergency housing, how to get your benefit back, tenancy issues and how to navigate available social services

Listen to full interview here

Community Meals

Community Meals If you’re hungry but don’t know where to get a feed from, here is a list of CBD food and meal providers.

Monday – Sunday, 24/7, Auckland Community Fridge, Griffiths Gardens, 42 Wellesley Street West 4 – 6pm Daily – New World collection 4:30pm Mon-Fri – Nourish Café collection Midday, Mon-Sun – Ian (Salvation Army) 

Auckland City Mission, 23 Union Street 

Monday – Friday Breakfast 7:30am – 10:30am Lunch 12pm – 2:30pm 

Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays Brunch 10am – 12:30pm Lunch/Dinner 3:30 – 5:30pm 

Monday – Friday, 9:15pm – Ian from The Salvation Army, Auckland Central Library, 44 – 46 Lorne Street

Mondays, 12pm – Homeless No More, Meet at Aotea Square, then walk up to Queens Street and finish at Central library.

Monday 6 – 8pm – Everybody Eats, St Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Road.

Monday 6 – 7pm, Gratis Free Cafe, Community Hall, 17 Mercury Lane

Wednesday 6:30pm – Humanity NZ, Griffiths Gardens, 42 Wellesley Street West

Saturday 8:30pm – Handshake People, from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Mosque, walk to Griffiths Gardens

First Saturday of the month, 7pm – Feed The Homeless, Auckland central library, 44-46 Lorne Street

Third Saturday of the month, 3 – 5pm, Helping Our People, Griffiths Gardens, 42 Wellesley Street West

Fourth Saturday of the Month, 3 – 5pm (winter) & 4 – 6pm (summer) – Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Griffiths Gardens, 42 Wellesley Street West

Sunday, 7am – Jacob Kim, Griffiths Gardens, 42 Wellesley Street West

Sunday 12:30pm, Thanks Mission, Auckland Central Library, 44-46 Lorne Street

Sunday 6:15pm, Ian, Auckland Salvation Army, Auckland Central Library, 44-46 Lorne Street

Stuff on Stuff

by Six

Six, the host of The K’ Road Chronicles on

Ever since Naashon Zalk, The K’ Road Chronicles, Director, proposed to me I’ve been practicing my acceptance speech.

“I’d like to thank Dark Lord Vader, Mum, my producers and obviously revered members of the Academy.

The unholy union between independent idealistic print, mass media and web is now available to view at

Meet some of my friends and whanau living at large. Listen to stories about street life from the people who live and die on this infamous road.

It’s raw. It’s gritty. It’s colourful and diverse.

It’s also heartwarming and is a testament to the people brave enough to share their experiences in an open, honest and sometimes brutal way.

It is a story of hope and courage, despair and disparity.

I’d like to thank Commissioning Editor, Carol Hirshfield, mainly because I’m contractually obliged and honestly for providing a platform for the street community to be heard in a larger court.

Brian Holland, Executive Producer, Top Shelf, says he has long wanted to do a show about being homeless.

“We had the rights to a BBC production called Filthy, Rich and Homeless. That program really changed the way I view homelessness. I was sympathetic but I opened my eyes a lot more,” says Brian.

The K’ Road Chronicles is an eight part web series Directed by Naashon Zalk. Each episode includes a personal account of street survival and living life in the low lane.

Naashon says he wanted to make the series because, despite so much being said in the media about homelessness, there was very little being said by the homeless.

“I wanted to find a way to give power back to the homeless in a way that is respectful, yet doesn’t gloss over the harsh facts of how they came to live on the street,” says Naashon.

I’d also like to thank Naashon’s daughter Noa, because she missed out on the school Disco because Dad was working late.

All the families and whanau who supported this project need their own pat on the back but there are too many to mention. How many? Too many.

The K’ Road Chronicles is produced by Top Shelf Productions with funding from New Zealand on Air.

The K’ Road Chronicle is a not for profit paper for the homeless, by the homeless. It is funded by skullduggery, sponsorship and a pinch of subterfuge.

And thank you, who read this far.

Greys Razed

Removal of soft fittings, asbestos and deconstruction of the Housing New Zealand (HNZ) residential estate at 139 Greys Ave gathers momentum this month.

Sarcha Hayter, Senior Communications & Engagement Advisor, says new housing at the central Auckland site is an opportunity to better utilise land, house more people and work in new ways to better support tenants.

“We will be creating a welcoming, supportive, and connected community within Greys Ave, and an environment that promotes greater health and well being for all our tenants,” says First Name .

Redevelopment of the land will see 87 old units that are no longer fit for purpose, replaced with more than 200 warm, dry, modern apartments. At least 80 apartments are designed for high and needs tenants, many of whom may currently be homeless. Extensive on-site wrap-around support services and community facilities offer a modern, supportive, urban community.

Timeline for the demolition and construction process.

April 2019 – August 2019

  • Soft fittings removed
  • safe removal of asbestos
  • deconstruction of the existing building

August 2019 – March 2020

  • Construction of podium

December 2020 – 2022

  • Construction of buildings


  • Building construction complete
  • Support services in place
  • Tenants move in
  • Party like its 1999

Asbestos removal.

An accredited asbestos removal company completes safe transportation and disposal of the asbestos. Removal is independently monitored to ensure no risk to surrounding areas or neighbours.


As much material as possible will be reused. Deconstruction ensures retention of materials that can be recycled and reused.

Native wood is being used by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to create new carvings and furniture.

Works will be carried out in accordance with Auckland Council requirements. This includes hours of work, contractor parking, noise and dust control.

Site hours:

Monday – Friday, 7.00am to 6.00pm

Saturday, 8.00am to 5.00pm

No work on Sundays or public holidays without written approval from Housing New Zealand.

Neighbours must be informed of additional work or maintenance in advance.

Site is secure and monitored regularly by security.

New Housing For 139 Greys Ave,City Centre,Auckland.

The redevelopment of the land will see 87 old units that are no longer fit for purpose,replaced with approximately 280 warm,dry,modern apartments. At least 200 apartments will be retained as state houses and 80 of those apartments would be designed for higher and complex need tenants many of whom may currently be homeless. There will be extensive wrap around support services and community facilities on-site to facilitate a modern,supportive,urban community we can be proud of.

As a neighbour who lives near this address, i wanted to inform you that demolition of the existing building will start early April 2019. Below is the current proposed timeline for the demolition and construction process.

April 2019-August 2019 Soft fittings removed

Safe removal of asbestos

Deconstruction of the existing building

August 2019-March 2019 Construction of building.

December 2020-2022 Construction of buildings.

2022 Building construction complete.

Supportive services in place.

Tenants move in

Church allows homeless to sleep overnight…

Nearly 15 years ago, St Boniface church in San Francisco began opening their doors for homeless people in need of shelter. The effort was started by Father Louis Vitale of the church,and community activist Shelly Roder,in 2004 and is known as the Gubbio project.

Hundreds of people each day pass through the church,using the pews to sleep on, and getting blanket from the staff.

”No question are asked when our guest walk into the churches; in an effort to remove all barriers to entry, there are no sign-in sheets or intake forms. No one is ever turned away; all are wqelcomed, respected and treated with dignity,” according to the Gubbio project website.


Orange Sky Bus will be providing Showers and Washing Machine around the Auckland REGION.

Orange Sky New Zealand provides a safe and reliable location for our friends on the streets to access clean laundry, and genuine conversations. Please share these messages to help provide support to our friends on the streets.

The Place We Call Home

The Place We Call Home from Nathalie Nasrallah on Vimeo.

The Place We Call Home is a short documentary following some of the people who frequent Our Whare in Auckland, and the sense of community and manaakitanga that has arisen in the place. The film shows the real side of life for those seeking a safe place from which to find support to improve their lives.

Director: Tai Waru
Editor: Nathalie Nasrallah
Producer: Tai Waru
Camera: Jack Gravatt
Audio: Jonothan Amosa Matu’u, Caitlin Owston-Doyle
Talent: Anaru Randall, Grant Wilson, Journey Nahu, Robert Marriner, Jason Raiwhara

Launch of Housing First

A new initiative aimed at ending chronic homelessness in Auckland has officially kicked off.

Today Social Housing Minister Amy Adams and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff launched Housing First Auckland, which aims to house 472 homeless Aucklanders and provide wrap-around services to address the causes of their homelessness.

“We don’t want to see anyone living on the street or in shelters. The drivers behind homelessness are often complicated and difficult, such as mental health issues, alcoholism or family violence, and there isn’t a quick fix. We need to combat homelessness at its core, by addressing the causes behind it,” says Ms Adams.

“In order to help rough sleepers, we need to get them into secure housing first. This Housing First pilot will help achieve this by helping our homeless into safe, secure and stable accommodation, and then providing wrap-around services to address their issues.

“The programme is internationally-renowned, and backed up by strong domestic and international evidence. It also reflects a social investment approach, where we can reduce the significant, long-term societal and financial costs of homelessness by investing more upfront.”

Mayor Goff says: “Homelessness is a growing problem in Auckland and it needs to be tackled as a priority. The housing first approach has worked in other cities in New Zealand and overseas and that is why we are adopting here.

“It makes absolute sense for central and local government, NGOs and the private sector to work together to take effective steps to respond to chronic homelessness.

“Housing First Auckland is already delivering results, with eight rough sleepers in Central and West Auckland now in homes with on-going wrap-around support. Across the city, more than 30 people are in the wings for similar support. This is a start but there is much to do.”

The pilot is funded by Government ($3.7 million) and Auckland Council ($1 million), and involves experienced community organisations, Affinity Services, Lifewise and the Auckland City Mission, LinkPeople and Vision West. It will run for two years.

Housing First Auckland will focus on the City Centre, Central, West and South Auckland where there is the highest concentration of homeless people. Read the NZ Herald article here.

Ms Adams and Mr Goff said they were both looking forward to seeing how Housing First Auckland would deliver for Auckland’s homeless population.

Auckland recently had a discussion with visiting expert Dr Tsemberis about housing first and homelessness  – view the conversation here.

An event to understand homelessness

World Homelessness Day on Monday 10 October will be marked by an event in Aotea Square that will bring the homelessness sector and Aucklanders together to share what it really means to be homeless.

World Homeless Day

World Homeless Day: Te Ao o te kāinga kore.

Auckland Rough Sleepers Initiative

The event will run from 9:30am to 2:30pm and will include information, health promotions, hourly performances and presentations, as well as a human library where people can talk directly and openly with those who have experienced homelessness. There will be a diverse range of arts and crafts, activities, a celebrity ‘cook off’, live music and carving. We will be doing a soft launch of the Āwhina site for users and service providers at this event.

Charlotte Ama from the James Liston Hostel says the day will be focused on highlighting the plight of our homeless and will take the time to reflect on the increase in numbers of people experiencing homelessness in our own backyard.

“Homelessness is something that should be talked about openly and with energy every day until there is a solution to it. But in recognition of World Homelessness Day as a global effort in raising awareness, we’ve chosen this day to bring together those working in the sector and those with past or current experiences of homelessness to share their knowledge and experience with the public,” says Charlotte.

“Creating dialogue is key to breaking down the stigma associated with being homeless and finding new pathways to improving the health and wellbeing of those going through it.”

“As the inflated Auckland housing market leaves more and more people homeless in its wake, it is important that we do not become complacent and accept homelessness as a by-product of the crisis. Whilst there are many drivers to becoming homeless and no ‘one size fits all’ remedy to this issue, it’s vital that we don’t lose sight of the fact that having shelter is a fundamental human right, ” Charlotte says.

The event, which is funded by Auckland Council, is a collaboration by the collective of organisations working in the Auckland homelessness sector, who come together under the banners of the ‘Auckland Rough Sleepers Initiative’ and the ‘Rough Sleepers Steering Group’. Both groups work with interested agencies to improve the experience of those sleeping rough and to keep the issue of homelessness on the public agenda.

Those wanting to hear exactly how the sector is working with homeless Aucklanders can talk to organisations on the day such as Lifewise who are leading on the Housing First Project in the central city. It’s a collaborative project with a range of stakeholders and uses a world renowned model to house the most complex chronic rough sleepers. The project is currently going through a robust design phase with a target implementation date of December 2016.

“Our hope is that people come away from the event with a different perspective on homelessness – an understanding that it is a deeply complex issue effecting real human beings,” says Charlotte.

“I think anyone who comes along on the day will leave with a real sense that they’ve learned something important.”

For more information about the Auckland World Homelessness Day Event please contact:

Charlotte Ama
James Liston Emergency Housing Provider
Phone – 09 376 3885
Mobile – 021 714 797
Email –

Sleeping rough to end homelessness

Now in its 7th year, The Lifewise Big Sleepout sets out to raise serious cash to tackle the serious issue of homelessness in Auckland. Many lives have been and will continue to be turned around as a result of this event.

It all started back in 2010 when 60 business, community and political leaders slept on cold concrete for one night. Together they raised over $100,000 to support the work of Lifewise’s Crisis Response and Housing team.

The next event will take place mid 2017. It will raise critical awareness of homelessness and how Housing First can end this growing problem.

All funds raised go directly to support Lifewise’s highly successful ‘no band aids’ approach to homelessness.

To find out more about the Lifewise Big Sleepout and to donate please visit

Lifewise thanks all those who make the Big Sleepout such a success – the participants, the volunteers and the companies who donate goods and resources.

Homelessness: What can the Mayor do?

Every Mayor wants to do something they will be remembered for. Could Auckland’s new one become famous for ending chronic homelessness?

In many cities that are ending chronic homelessness there is a common factor: strong Mayoral leadership in bringing together communities, service providers, government and social agencies. What Auckland needs is a housing strategy and a Mayor who is audacious enough to develop one. We say audacious because the Mayor has to acknowledge that some tough decisions need to be made. And some imaginative thinking is in order too, as Council needs to grapple courageously with what government will and won’t do.

We see this as a fitting challenge for the new Mayor of Auckland. With that in mind, Lifewise held a special briefing at Merge Café, where the Housing First Project was presented to a number of Auckland mayoral candidates.

We were very pleased by the interest shown and the questions raised. One of these raised more questions in my mind: When does the Housing First process stop? The short answer is it does not have to stop. For the long answer, let’s understand what Housing First involves.

The process, as it were, begins when a homeless person decides they want a home. Ideally, they also decide the type and location of their home and also whether and who they want to live with. Any support or wrap-around services they need are put in place by collaboration amongst service providers, social agencies, and government. These services may include mental health and alcohol and drug treatment, or day-to-day budgeting of household expenses. The wrap-around services continue for as long as the person needs them. And even afterwards, these services remain available. This is why the Housing First process does not have to stop.

We know that all this costs money, which is why we want homelessness to end, for wrap-around services to become unnecessary. But how can that happen unless wider issues related to homelessness are addressed: poverty, disconnection from family and whanau supports, and inequality, for example. Can we ensure job security; a regular, liveable income? Can we protect our most vulnerable Kiwis from losing their home? Can we build strong supportive communities so more people can feel like they belong, like they also matter?

With 41,000 homeless New Zealanders at last count, it’s no secret that this problem has reached countrywide proportions. Meanwhile here in Auckland, over 20,000 people are homeless: That’s 49% of the nation’s total. We have among the highest prevalence of homelessness — 14 people per every 1000 Aucklanders experience homelessness.

Addressing these numbers with policy decisions and funding budgets for building more homes are on the central government’s to-do list. However, it is up to the Mayor to listen closely to the people of their city, understand what they need, and bring together the services and support to help them.

Social agencies like Lifewise always welcome government support, be it via funding to keep our services going or through the expertise that a collaborative venture like Housing First requires. However, without a housing strategy for putting solutions into practice and measuring the results, we risk disappointment.

Our goal of ending chronic homelessness is indeed ambitious – some might say, audacious, too – but this goal is not impossible. It’s going to need a concerted effort and sustained focus, over longer than just one Mayor’s term in office. And that can be the legacy they leave behind.

[This post first appeared on The Daily Blog on 23 September 2016]

Services available for the downtrodden, disenfranchised, dishevelled, dirty and dusty