Dec. 13, 2022, 11:59 a.m.
Housing is limited for renters in Te Hiku and the wider Northland, particularly for young teen mothers with children unable to find long-term accommodation, forcing them to live in unsafe situations at times.
Mothers under 18 years of age wanting to continue with their education were leaving their hometown in the north, at times to pursue education due to their limited options in the mid-north.
Te Hauora O Ngāpuhi has provided a housing solution for teen mothers in this challenging situation.
Eleanor Barker from Northland Colleges Hiwa i te rangi Teen Parenting Unit said,
"There is nowhere for them to go, so sometimes they are having to stay in family violence situations or in couch surfing situations and they don't need to live like that, because there's nowhere for them to go and so a lot of them leave for Auckland because they actually have a chance of getting somewhere in Auckland''.
"But it means they lose connection to their Whanau, they lose connection to their land, to their everything, their history, their future, their everything by moving away".
The new alternative for teen mums came from a request from the community, as a result, Te Hau Ora o Ngapuhi teamed up with Hiwa I Te Rangi Teen Parenting Unit to build self-contained small houses to allow stability and the continuation of their schooling.
The self-contained independent living also provides the young mums with safety, security, permanency and a brighter future for the really vulnerable teen mums in Kaikohe.