Duncan Garner: Lack of emergency housing in Auckland shows how greedy we have become

Opinion 10/10/2019

So here's the question - is there an emergency night shelter for the homeless in Auckland?

The answer is N. O. What a dreadful oversight, how on earth did it get to this? 

I suppose no one really pushed for it that hard and made it their sole focus and no one in office, with the power to do something thought it's a problem. 

Or maybe they thought it was someone else's problem.

It's not like we haven't had our share of mayors and leaders who claimed they cared. John Banks in Auckland, nope he didn't do it and he knows what it's like to be kicked out of the house. 

Les Mills? One of his city gyms has 24-hour swipe access but not for the homeless. 

Dick Hubbard? Nope. Len Brown?  He cared for his peeps didn't he? Nah, he was too busy getting advice from Auckland's ethnic affairs committee to come up for air on this one.

Helen Clark, John Key, Paula Bennett - wrap round services that never got their heads around a night shelter for the homeless.

Some warmth, safety, dignity - it's the oversight of all oversights isn't it?

It's not new that hundreds of people live rough on the streets. I spoke to one the other night who is the grandson of a prominent Māori leader.

He said 'bro got any cash?' I said yeah I have actually - what do you need?  When I asked about his life, he rolled his eyes. The usual story, addictions, and then one thing leads to another. "Pretty much bro" he said.

I gave him twenty bucks. He pulled his blanket up as he contemplated sleep in a bus shelter. No one wins. Not him, not the city, not anyone. We should hang our heads in shame; surely everyone deserves the right to the basics. 

The fact that we haven't done this shows to me how greedy, selfish and how out of whack our society has become.

Duncan Garner is a host of The AM Show.