Rough sleepers at Hatfields Beach have been given their marching orders.
Auckland Council has moved a small ‘tent city’ of homeless people from the beach and erected signs prohibiting camping overnight.
Freedom campers are still using the area.
Hatfields is one of five regular locations around Orewa where the food rescue group Love Soup has been delivering food.
“The homeless who are sleeping in their cars tend to move around a bit,” she says. “But it became quite obvious during lockdown, when they had to stay put, how many homeless people there are in the area. Some were moved in to motels, but we delivered food daily to those who were told to stay put at the beach.”
Julie says far from being a nuisance, she has seen these homeless people picking up rubbish and cutting the grass that was missed by the Council mower.
It’s believed that Council acted after receiving complaints, including one about a tent dweller who had pets and was keeping chickens.
Auckland Council’s team manager compliance response Max Wilde says Council and a support agency have been working with the police to deal with a number of rough sleepers at Hatfield’s Beach.
“Council works closely with specialist support agencies in circumstances where we are informed about, or encounter people sleeping rough, and we have an established system of notifying outreach workers in such circumstances,” he says. “The primary concern is always the well-being of the people involved.”
However, one of the homeless said Council was not looking after their wellbeing, just getting them off its land. “Signs were put up to say we had to move on and some of our stuff started to go missing.”