'Your Help May Harm' campaign launched in Hamilton

Justin Karaitiana, 39, is not homeless, but begs on the streets of Hamilton, asking for cigarettes, money or food.
MARK TAYLOR/ FAIRFAX NZ

Justin Karaitiana, 39, is not homeless, but begs on the streets of Hamilton, asking for cigarettes, money or food.

A spare ciggie here and there, the occasional loose change, or a fast-pace, no-eye-contact, walk right past.

Justin Karaitiana never intended to be begging on the streets of Hamilton.

Yet there he is, twice a week along Victoria Street, asking people for cigarettes, money, or food,

Who will help the homeless?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

It's put him in the sights of a new campaign aimed at stopping panhandling in the CBD.

READ MORE:

*Injured pedestrian in Hamilton reported to be homeless man
*Hamilton trust on hunt for shelter to serve homeless
*Homeless in Hamilton, what are the mayor's solutions?

Justin Karaitiana said although he is not homeless, he barely gets by on his benefit each week, forcing him to hit the ...
MARK TAYLOR/ FAIRFAX NZ

Justin Karaitiana said although he is not homeless, he barely gets by on his benefit each week, forcing him to hit the Hamilton streets.

Karaitiana is not homeless.

The 39 year old boards with his landlady, and is on a benefit. He gets roughly $180 a week - half of that goes on rent, about $60 on debt, and the rest is to last him the week.

He fractured his neck in 2012, and suffers from nerve damage in his hands. The cigarettes help with the pain, and he says he doesn't drink or gamble.

"I've got so many expenses coming out. My rent, bills that I ticked up when I was younger, so I always come up the street to get a little bit of extra money.

Ad Feedback

"It's a real help."

This week the "Your Help May Harm" campaign was launched by the Hamilton Central Business Association, supported by the Hamilton City Council team, City Safe.

It is aimed to educate the public on the challenges with giving money to people on the streets. The focus instead is on other ways to get them help.

HCBA general manager, Sandy Turner, said research showed the majority of people who are begging in public spaces use the donations to support serious addictions.

She said rather than give them money, help guide them to the appropriate services available in Hamilton. 

"We live in a city that is very lucky to have amazing support services for people that find themselves in hardship or those who are most vulnerable.

"There is emergency housing, long-term housing, free meals, cooking and budgeting advice, emergency benefits."

A survey found people said they felt "intimidated and uncomfortable" while business owners were frustrated customers were being harassed for money whilst on their premises.

Turner added research showed the majority of people begging in the Hamilton CBD were not actually homeless.

"What was quite concerning was people turning up with their props. They'd bring their sleeping bags, cardboard, a sad, hungry dog, and park next to an ATM machine."

She said the campaign was about educating people.

"The public will be educated around giving people money, and the vulnerable people who are out there begging will get the right support they require so they no longer need to beg.

"This is not about denying support for people who find themselves in hardship, in fact it is about supporting these people to get the correct help."

Karaitiana said the campaign "sucks" for him. But he knows beggars who use the money for alcohol, drugs and gambling.

"It's not good for the rest of us who are trying to use the money for food and stuff.

"You've got people out here that can't find jobs, they're really struggling, and they've got no other avenues of support from friends or family.

"Even with my benefit money, I try to make it stretch. But it's still really hard."

Manger of the Hamilton Christian Nightshelter Trust, Peter Humphreys, believes the campaign will work.

"I can see it working in Hamilton if there is enough education for the public around where services are and what is available.

He said people should not give money if they really want to help.

"Never any money, because to me the giving of money is just keeping people on the streets and keeping them in habits that can sometimes eventually kill them."

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

'That was her dream, to provide a haven'

Salon co-owner Greg Carter with the salon's manager and hairdresser Salina-Pearl Nigro.

A Greenhithe resident's legacy lives on in her salon with a difference.

Viola player finalist a first

University of Auckland honours students and viola player, Julie Park said she's not afraid to try new things.

Julie Park explains her journey as the first viola player to make finalist at a well-known concerto competition.

Mad Butcher: Let's celebrate

Shaun Johnson makes a break during the match against Sydney Roosters.

Some fantastic news to celebrate.

Fire alarm warns homeowners

Breathing apparatus wearing firefighters accounted for all occupants as unharmed in the smoke-filled home.

Mairangi Bay homeowners on Auckland's North Shore came home to a blaring alarm and smoke-filled house.

Wellington

From 'Fats' to fighting fit video

Fats Moke is a big man with a gang history who has worked with Dr Tom Mulholland to get his diabetes under control.

After a shock diagnosis, former mobster 'Fats' Moke is fighting back against losing his legs.

'PC gone haywire' video

The Poplar Ave interchange withthe expressway, dark, running along the centre, between the Poplar Ave roundabout and the ...

Backlash as proposed Maori street names for sections of old Kapiti SH1 are deemed "unpronounceable".

Wild weather hits

Rain

Strong winds hammer lower North Island causing power cuts, flooding and damage.

'Transience' hurting Porirua's kids

A quarter of Porirua's children live in overcrowded homes, and they are twice as likely to switch schools two or more ...

School switching leaving some Porirua kids at "the end of the tail of underachievement."

Canterbury

Dairy owner takes on robbers video

Sujan Burra fought back as two men robbed a Woolson dairy of snacks on Saturday night.

Sujan Burra has been robbed since day one. This time, he was ready with a bat.

Body pulled from river

The Buller Gorge (file shot).

Police have recovered a vehicle along with a man's body from the Buller River on the West Coast.

First snow dump for skifields

The first heavy snowfall has arrived at several southern ski fields, including Cardrona.

South Island slopes enjoy first heavy snowfall of the season thanks to Sunday's storm.

Afternoon party shut down video

At least five police cars and a dozen officers are at the scene.

Police shut down Dunedin student party after calls about noise and "people vomiting".

Waikato

Architectural wonders revealed

The new law and management building at Waikato University was designed by Opus Architecture.

A lot of well known Waikato and Bay of Plenty buildings - and spaces - have earned accolades.

It's our turn to fix this

A medical school backed by Waikato Hospital, pictured, and Waikato University  seeks to train GPs to fill a critical ...

OPINION: The old boys have failed to fix New Zealand's doctor shortage, now it's our turn.

Join the fight for our med school

Waikato University vice-chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray.

A proposed medical school in the Waikato has the Government interested.

Ref raids accounts

050711 NEWS. Robert Charles/Taranaki Daily News. Cheque/ cheque book. Money. Bank.

Colleagues blew the whistle on referee who swiped $13K and a video camera.

Taranaki

Women walk the world at Pukekura Park

Nearly 100 women took part in the  Women Walk the World 2017 which preceded the Associated Country Women of the World's ...

The walk precedes the Associated Country Women of the World's South Pacific Conference.

Bringing Beau home

Beau St George, his fiancee Herminie Gouard and their daughter, Joan. Beau tragically lost his life following a car ...

Nearly $30,000 has been raised to help bring Kiwi dad's body home after tragic crash in France.

Man stabbed in Normanby

Two police units were at the scene.

The alleged offender was being held down by the victim.

Costly second half errors for Team Taranaki

Team Taranaki's Domenico Squatriti was red carded against Western Suburbs in their Central League match.

Second loss hurts Team Taranaki.

Manawatu

A look inside the stricken gorge video

Two slips are about 2 kilometres apart and it will take weeks for the road through the Manawatu Gorge to reopen.

The road through the Manawatu Gorge will be closed for weeks - and here's why.

Cyber act in action

The Harmful Digitial Communications Act was passed in July 2015.

Act helps as more than 20 people prosecuted for posting harmful content online.

Ram-raid attempt to steal cigarettes

The Feilding BP on Kimbolton Rd was ram-raided.

A stolen ute was used to ram into a BP station in an attempt to steal cigarettes.

NZDF civilians take strike action

Civilian employees of NZDF are on strike about pay.

Union accuses the Defence Force of intimidation after strike action.

Nelson

Not a house, it's a croquet shelter

Athol Turner has a few home comforts at the Hinemoa Croquet Club shelter, including coffee and a biography of Alec Guiness.

As the Nelson City Council looks to implement a new law banning sleeping in the city we meet a man who has made a croquet club his home.

Housing crisis help?

David Barnes, right, with his son Samuel Barnes who needs medical care, pictured with the dwelling David built for him ...

A Nelson man built a home on his property for his mentally-ill son. Could this solve our housing issues?

Guilty of murder

Philip Quayle died after being attacked on a street in Cairns, Australia, about 100 metres from home.

A man who choked a Nelson man to death during a random street attack in Cairns has been found guilty of murder.

Taking a leaf out of the future video

Nelson Mail Journalist Tim O'Connell with the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle(EV) that the Nelson Mail has had on loan from ...

Tim O'Connell shares the thrills, trials and tribulations of driving an electric vehicle.

Marlborough

City Hotel site snapped up

Rob Anderson has sold the City Hotel site on High St in Blenheim, three years after its demolition and subsequent ...

Empty lot used as public space in central Blenheim purchased by Marlborough investor.

Landing ... on SH1

Air Kaikoura Aero Club, pictured with its training plane near Mt Fyffe, supplied a service between Kaikoura and Clarence.

Cars can't use this part of State Highway 1, but Kaikoura aero club wants to use it for planes.

Tourism spend strong, considering

Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston says the latest figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation ...

International, domestic tourism spend holds up in post-quake market.

Stormy conflict finally settled

Kingwell Drive resident Pauline Davis feeds fish and eels in Murphy's Creek.

Multimillion-dollar stormwater project gets green light after four-year battle.

South Canterbury

'Great' fun for all at colour run video

Ziah Tatuava, 6, of Waimate is having a roaring good time at the second-annual Colour Me Fun Run in Timaru on Sunday.

Colourful 'old ladies' and a family of 'dalmatians' took part in Timaru's annual Colour Me Fun Run on Sunday.

Scooter bros 'buzzing'

Kahurangi, left, giving his brother Makaia a pep talk before he competed on Saturday.

Timaru's scooting brothers have 'incredible' at the Australian Scooter Championships in Melbourne.

Museum social push

The South Canterbury Museum is looking to expand its social media reach beyond Facebook, using Instagram and YouTube, ...

The South Canterbury Museum could soon be using Instagram and YouTube to expand its social media reach.

Quad bike crash a 'terrible tragedy'

The crash happened at the intersection of Hakataramea Highway and Shearers Hill Road, southeast of Waimate.

 Police are looking into a quad bike crash which claimed the life of a man in South Canterbury.

Southland

Volunteer firefighters getting medical training

Edendale Firefighters Brendon Cameron, Shane Elliott, Richard Hart, Scottie Cameron, Brian Coyle, Rudi Verplancke and ...

Some Southland volunteer fire brigades are taking on extra medical training to provide a service to fill a need within their community.

Visitor tax unlikely

Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Clutha Southland MP Todd Barclay in Queenstown.

Finance Minister says more money does need to be spent on tourism infrastructure.

Pros and cons of reform

Southland Regional Development Strategy governance group chair Tom Campbell.

Experts say the effect of the changes to immigration reform are uncertain at this stage, with both positives and negatives to come out of the new policy.

Walking for enjoyment

Recreational walking gives June Wilson, left, and Ngaire Evans immense pleasure.

Joining walking groups is good for exercise and making friends, June Wilson says.

Ad Feedback