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Akld parks up for homeless on winter night

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/06/2016

Families and volunteers are in high spirits as they get ready to sleep in their cars for a night in Auckland in support of those living rough.

Park Up For Homes kicked off at 6pm in Mangere on Thursday, with further events planned for Otara and Wellington on Saturday.

Families were invited to `park up' and show solidarity with families living out of cars, and so far up to 200 people have joined the event in Mangere town centre, where a festive atmosphere has prevailed.

The event has been billed as a safe, alcohol-free peaceful protest with music.

Volunteers on site served hot drinks and cooked up a sausage sizzle for hungry participants.

Labour MPs Su'a William Sio, David Cunliffe and Louisa Wall, and the Green Party's Marama Davidson, have said they will be joining in.

Co-ordinator Justin Latif says the enormous response shows it's an issue close to Kiwis' hearts.

"Ordinary New Zealanders are saying what is being done for homeless people including many children is simply not enough," he said.

He told NZ Newswire it was important for `middle New Zealand' to show it cared about the issue.

"I would hope that government and parliament would take this really seriously because a lot of people have responded and those people represent voters."

His wife Joanne said some parents had planned to bring their children to the event to give them a glimpse of what homelessness might feel like.

The temperature in Auckland was about 12C on Thursday night, according to MetService.

Independent organisers are pulling together events across Auckland and further south.

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