Kia Ora My name is (blanked out) I’m 35 years of age my partner and I have:
6 children aged: 18,15, 13, 5, 3, and 1 years old.
3 weeks ago we were given 8 days notice to move out of our house of 3 years because my mother was sub letting to me and gave up the house .. I reached out to WINZ for help with Emergency Accommodation which they had us in a motel that was suitable for my family and I.
We were there for 10 days the motel owner was more then happy to keep us on there while we looked for a house but my case manager Robyn Simmons said she had found us a new motel which was meant to be more suitable for my family and I.
It’s call the Chelmswood Motel.
She said there is an on-site social worker and they could help us get into a home but there’s a couple of rules like a 10pm to 630am lockdown…
We arrived there 10am Friday 14/08/2020.
I met the lady called Lou. and she gave me the room key, and said I can fill out the paperwork later.
So we unloaded our stuff 2 van loads and we were setting our stuff up when Lou came over and told me and my partner and children to go do the paper work (please find paperwork attached).
We weren’t happy about it and took paperwork to look through Lou came over that night and asked for it.
I didn’t want to sign it but I had to sign the rules and regulations to be able to continue staying there –we thought that was OK as we needed somewhere for our children to sleep.
But then we were given another lot of forms (please find attached) these forms I was no way happy with, and was not going to sign them because in there it stated any information provided was voluntary in the privacy act 1993.
So I said to Lou I don’t have to disclose any information on this form, however in #9 of the rules and regulations it stated that if I did not sign I would be kicked out of the motel.
The motel unit was not suitable for us as it had the two single beds up step stairs on a mezzanine floor witch my kids could have climbed the rails and fallen.
Also they could have fallen down the stairs, so I asked for a gate for the stairs.
They said they will get a gate once we were there for 3 days but we didn’t receive one.
On Monday the 17/08/2020 my partner and I had dropped the kids at kindy and had a talk about how this how this motel was effecting our children. We are a spiritual family and my children couldn’t sleep properly, they were waking up crying 5 to 10times a night and we were all very unhappy and unhealthy there so me and my partner decided we had to go find somewhere else. I contacted WINZ and talked to Robyn Simmons.
I told her the situation we were In and that we needed to find somewhere else, but she told me “that was my only option deal with it”.
I tryed to explain in more detail and she said she was ending the call and hung up on me. Around 3:30 pm we went back to the Chelmswood Motel when arriving there I went to sign in, but Lou and the Security come to the car and Lou said “what you leaving here!”
I said what gives you that idea she replied, “Well you haven’t signed the other forms and you haven’t given your kids: names, dates of birth, and all details …we need them for funding.”
I replied “I thought you provided free rooms,”
She replied “No, (visions of helping hands) give us funding for your room.”
I said “ I will not disclose any information about my children and do not give any consent for any social worker or Oranga Tamariki.”
She replied “Well if you’re not going to fucking sign the forms! Then you can get out!”
I said that she was unprofessional and insensitive to mine and my family’s feelings and the things we are going through. I went to hop back in my car and she said I wasn’t allowed back in the motel.”
So I said to her “Get fucked, I will just go get our stuff out and could you please give me in writing the reason my family and I arr being evicted on the spot like this.”
We packed up and they gave me a letter (please find attached) stating we cannot stay there anymore so we left.
I contacted WINZ straight away, Robyn Simmons my case manager rung me back and said they could no longer support my family and I with emergency accommodation, because I chose to leave the Chelmswood Motel.
I tried to explain that we were evicted for not signing the forms because of the Oranga Tamariki Act and I also told her about the letter Lou wrote that explained the reason why we left.
Robyn Simmons she said she “was ending the conversation!” and hung up
I just broke down, I had nowhere to go and I have let my children down, what was I to do? My partners friend took us in for the night, she also has 6 children I was so thankful...the kids had a good night sleep an woke up happy for kindy.
I dropped them off and started ringing WINZ, I talked to someone from the call centre I asked to talk to a manager he put me through to the regional housing manager I explained my situation and he put it in the notes and understood we’re I was coming from. He said somebody will contact me soon from Taupo to sort this.
Robyn Simmons called me back and said she talked to Lou and we can go back to the Chelmswood Motel if I sign the papers.
I explained to her why I wouldn’t sign the CONTRACT – and that I had the right not to sign the CONTRACT.
I also explained about the room not being suitable for my children and explained that in the papers under the privacy act 1993 disclosing this information Is voluntary and I don’t consent to any of it,…”I’m not signing it.”
She said that’s the only option we have … my partner and I really feel belittled as Lou was so unprofessional about it, they tried to imply we had done something wrong.
When all we urgently need is help and a roof over our babies until we find a home.
Robyn did want to listen and said it was my choice to leave the Chelmswood motel.
She said we will not help with any more housing, and that we have to go back to the Chelmswood and that she was ending the call and hung up.
She rang back about half hour later and said the only thing I can do is wait for the Taupo Manager to contact me.
I asked to be transferred to another manager she said there are no other managers.
I said can I please be put through to the Housing Manager, because I had talked to them today, she said” no you can’t! Wait for Taupo Manager to call”….then hung up.
I waited for the Taupo Manager but never got a call, so I picked my children up from kindy and felt helpless.
I rung the owner of the first motel we were in an asked if he could give us a room.
He said yes and we got a room at his other motel in town closer to the kindy and town.
I just had to pay that night when my pay goes in it’s going to be a struggle but we are positive and together as a family so things will work out iv never experienced the hurt the pain I feel like I’m being dragged through the dirt and can’t understand Why they are treating me and my family like this ..