Almost a third of Auckland's homeless population were children during count last year

More than 1300 children were counted as sleeping in makeshift accommodation in Auckland on the night of September 17 last year, according to data released by Auckland Council on Thursday.

The devastating statistic makes up almost a third of Auckland's homeless population, and includes those in temporary living arrangements. 

Numbers were collected during last year's Homeless Count, run by Auckland Council and the Housing First Auckland Collective.

Fiona Hamilton, Housing First Auckland's programme manager, says living in temporary quarters is also deemed as homelessness.

"Being homeless as a child is a risk factor for being homeless as an adult," she told local media.

John Mavea from the Salvation Army said he knew of six youths sleeping in public spaces in New Lynn, in response to the report's very small amount of data on children sleeping rough.

Social workers declared the data underestimated the multitude of under-18s sleeping on the streets.

The report found ex-prisoners, Māori and those who identified as part of the LGBTI community were overrepresented in the count.

About 43 percent of those living without shelter and 40 percent of people in temporary accommodation on the night last year were Māori, despite only making up 11 percent of Auckland's general population.

On September 17 a total of approximately 3674 people were considered homeless Auckland-wide.

The report deemed around 800 of those were sleeping on the streets or in cars. The count included 1027 people living in Ministry of Social Development emergency housing.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff agrees there is still much more work to be done in Auckland homelessness.