Tongan community leader Melino Maka says cases of families living in leaky and mouldy homes are far too common and the government needs to fix it.
The chair of the Tongan Advisory Council spoke to Le'o 'o e 'Otufelenite about a sick elderly woman in Auckland whose family has requested a new property from Housing New Zealand.
It was reported by 1 News this week that the Vaha'i family in Māngere live in a leaky and mouldy home that is not healthy for their 78-year-old elder Makeleta Vaha'i, who suffers from terminal cancer.
Housing New Zealand says it has found a new home for the family and has promised have them relocated in December.
But chair of the Tongan Advisory Council Melino Maka says the state of the government-owned house is embarrassing and Government needs to respond to the issue.
"We're only scratching the surface. From time to time I come across families in similar situations."
"It's amazing how the government is trying to tell the private landlords to obey certain standards but if you look at their houses... you've got to make sure that you tidy up yourself before you tell people to."
Maka says he's extremely disappointed with the lack of response from Tongan MPs in government to the Vaha'i family's situation.
"I would think that in a situation like that especially because we have three Tongan MPs in Parliament, they should show some support for the family."
"For a country like New Zealand to treat the family like that... it's third-world standard and it should never happen in this country, especially houses that belong to the government."
PMN has requested to speak to Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development Jenny Salesa.