South Auckland is the focus area for the first registered Pacific community housing provider in New Zealand.
The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Alfred Ngaro, officially opened Penina Health Trust's first emergency home last week in Manukau.
Penina Health Trust Chairperson Angeline Hekau-Kalauni, says their projects will begin in South Auckland, the hub of Pacific people.
"There's one coming up in Otara and it's good to have it here in South Auckland because most of our Pasifika people are here."
The 22-unit lodge is ready for families with young children without a home, to move in for 12 weeks.
One of the 22 units at Penina Health Trust's first emergency home in Manukau. Photo/ PRN.
Hekau-Kalauni says they're working on providing financial, health and mental services as well, to help get people back on their feet.
"We're hoping that when they leave this place they'd be able to continue on with the skills they've learnt," she says. "It'll be a lot easier in terms of breaking down those barriers rather than band-aiding the problem."
Penina Health Trust Chairperson Angeline Hekau-Kalauni. Photo/ PRN.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro commended Penina Health Trust's work and says it's not the ultimate solution to homelessness and poverty, but a step closer to it.
"We're now seeing Pacific who are able to wrap around that service, understand the culture of our people and are able to have some tough conversations where there needs to be."
Being the first Pacific community housing provider, Penina Health Trust's Hekau-Kalauni says they're able to communicate and tend to Pacific families more effectively than others.
"They're comfortable to work with Pacific staff and the environment that we work in will be conducive to their needs," she says. "It's the approach, it's the way we do things and the understanding of the Pasifika way."
Penina Health Trust CEO Tupuola Roine Lealaiauloto and Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro launching Penina Trust's first emergency home. Photo/ PRN.