Homeless family of seven 'squat' in empty Gisborne house
Desperation drove a homeless family of seven to occupy an empty house in Gisborne last month.
Ashleigh Wawatai, her husband and five kids have been homeless for two years, living with whānau and in a self-catering residential accommodation before making the decision to "squat" in an empty house managed by Crown agency Kāinga Ora.
"I'm stressed, tired and overwhelmed by the sheer shambles of our housing system," Wawatai said.
The family posted about their plight on Facebook in mid-November and received several empathetic responses, along with addresses of unoccupied houses in Gisborne.