Popular spots for people staying overnight in their vehicles include Surfdale, Onetangi and Oneroa beaches.

The conversation around people living in their vehicles continues to gain traction with calls for the community and the local board to provide more support for those camping in cars or vans out of necessity. 

“There’s signage to tell people living in their vehicles where they can’t stay, but there needs to be something to tell them where they can go,” Surfdale resident Kathy Voyles told Waiheke Local Board members at their recent business meeting.

Kathy, who runs Kai Conscious, a food waste reduction and redistribution programme, says she knows several people living in their vehicles out of necessity.

“We need to look at this holistically,” she told the local board. 

“It’s important that we have a plan as a community to assist these people as we move into winter. These are people of all ages who can’t afford Waiheke rents. If my child were over in Europe working somewhere and struggling, I would hope a community would look after them.”

Ms Voyles says locking public bathrooms during Level 3 and 4 Covid-19 restrictions is a health and safety concern.

“There should be a designated place with running water for people staying in the cars or vans.” • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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