Free power for marae housing the homeless

Te Puea Memorial Marae (Google Street View)
Te Puea Memorial Marae (Google Street View)

A marae which opened its doors to the homeless won't have to pay to keep them warm this winter.

Electricity retailer Flick will supply Te Puea Memorial Marae in Auckland with free power.

Chief executive Steve O'Connor says it's good business to be socially responsible and wants others to chip in.

"A few dollars off our bottom line means the world to people in need."

The marae welcomed Flick's support, saying it'll help them get through winter without the threat of a huge bill.

"We are incredibly grateful to Flick for their generous contribution. It's very humbling to receive support from such a forward-thinking and proactive New Zealand business," says trustee Huri Dennis.

Community groups and businesses that want to help are invited to a meeting at the Mangere Bridge marae at 6pm on Wednesday.

Mr Dennis says they're also looking for help with IT and telecommunications support, transport, furnishings, a storage space to house food donations, food vouchers and cash contributions.

Auckland's housing and homeless crisis has been in the spotlight since a report on The Nation found tens of families living in cars.

The Government's response so far has been to offer homeless and Housing NZ tenants money to leave the city, and encourage more house and apartment-building by changing various rules and regulations.