'It's like a third-world country'

Save
A woman is living in a tent at a rest stop in Turett Rd. Photo / Andrew Warner.

By Samantha Motion

A woman living in a tent in Turret Rd wants people to respect her privacy as she tries to find a rental home.

Tauranga City Council has received nine calls about a woman living at the public rest stop, which has a sign banning overnight camping.

The Bay of Plenty Times visited the tent a few times over the past week. Failing to touch base with the occupant, a reporter left a note with contact details yesterday.

The woman, who identified herself as Sheree, called shortly after. She said she was in touch with two rental agencies and had seen a flat, but didn't know if she would get it as there might be hundreds of other people lining up for it.

She wasn't interested in discussing her situation and wanted people to respect her privacy.

Catherine Burgess lives across from the rest stop where the tent has been pitched for about the past 3.5 weeks.

"I feel sorry for her. If I had an extra room I would take her in, but I don't. It's like a third-world country."

She had been in touch with the council and was not happy with the lack of resolution.

She felt it was dangerous for the woman to live in the open, as sometimes there were "riff-raff" in the area at night, she said.

Council community services manager Meagan Holmes said staff have visited the woman regularly. They have encouraged her to register for social or emergency housing.

"We sympathise with Sheree's situation, and even though we have given advice and information to Sheree, she needs more support than council is able to provide to resolve her housing needs.

"Staff have contacted a social worker from St Peters House and asked if they could visit Sheree and work with her to help her resolve her situation."

Share this article

More Bay of Plenty Times