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Botch up has solo mum and kids sleeping rough

Published: 4:57PM Thursday April 02, 2015

  •  (Source: Te Karere)
    Elizabeth Ritchie and kids - Source: Te Karere

A solo mother and her eight children were left to sleep rough in a garage last night.

Elizabeth Ritchie and her kids are homeless after being told to move out of their Housing NZ home in West Auckland.

The desperate mother claims a lack of urgency and action from government agencies has landed her whānau in this predicament.

“Everything was done back in December. I found a rental property – fixed-term for a month,” says Ms Ritchie, “[I] took that tenancy agreement back to them; they photocopied it and said they’d get back to me.”

But she was never contacted.

“My four months fixed term is up now, and last week I rang up to find out what was going on, and there was no proof of any of it. So I had to go and do it all over again.”

Housing NZ did not formally respond to our requests for comment, however, Ms Ritchie plans to carry on her own investigations.

“It’s things like that that will drive somebody to breaking point. And I’m just about there.”


Housing NZ contacted Te Karere after this story aired and advised that Elizabeth Ritchie is not a client of Housing New Zealand. It stated that since April last year, housing assistance needs are handled differently. It referred Te Karere to the Ministry of Social Development who are apparently handling Elizabeth Ritchie’s case.

Te Karere will keep you up to date with any developments on this story.