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Sleep in cars to show you care

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/06/2016

There were songs, sausage sizzles and speeches from politicians as people prepared to sleep in cars near parliament, and in south Auckland.

More than 150 people were at the Cathedral of St Paul in Wellington on Saturday night and more gathered in Otara in south Auckland.

"I will try tonight to sleep in probably the smallest car in the country, as a symbolic gesture only, to highlight along with others this most unacceptable and unnecessary situation in our country of people without homes, permanently forced to sleep in their cars," says Wellington City councillor Helene Ritchie.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei and Labour's Grant Robertson were at the Wellington event.

The #parkupforhomes initiative was started by a small group of friends based in Mangere, who decided it was time to show solidarity with those facing winter living in a car or garage.

About 1000 people slept in 600 cars at the first event they organised in Mangere.

"We want to rev up and signal to our policy makers that we care," organisers of the Otara event say on their Facebook page.

The Child Poverty Action Group, which supports the protests, says everyone deserves a home and every child deserves a warm, dry and safe environment to grow up in.

"The housing situation for many children and families is an ongoing concern for CPAG, particularly those living in cars or garages for often long periods of time."

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