Our approach to begging

Begging on the street is a growing issue. To find a solution, we need to work together so all Wellingtonians can have a good quality of life.

Our aim is to end begging in Pōneke by addressing its causes

We’re taking a two-step approach to this by:

  • working with central government and community support agencies to address the issues that cause begging
  • pro-actively monitoring and managing our streets to mitigate the impact of begging.

It’s important to note that while homelessness and begging share some underlying factors, not all people who beg are homeless, and not all people who are homeless beg. You can find out more about our approach to ending homelessness at the link below.

Wellington City Council has intentionally worked collaboratively and explored partnerships that support and align with the Housing First Programme rather than duplicate existing services.

The Housing First Approach to addressing homelessness provided a catalyst to set in place broader collaborations that augment (not duplicate) that of other agencies.

Council agreed to support this approach and fund for services that would:

  • Have an assertive street outreach service that would identify, proactively engage, and collaborate with:
    • people sleeping rough and develop plans to assist in housing permanently;
    • those who are persistently begging and connect them to services and to provide opportunities for day activities;
  • Undertake tenancy-sustaining services for those who have been recently housed or are at severe risk of re-entering chronic homelessness:
  • Deliver services using an intensive and coordinated case collaboration approach

An assertive outreach service is one that proactively engages with our street community to ascertain their needs. It works on case management theory and provides clear action plans developed with individuals to achieve positive outcomes.

DCM is our lead agency and are funded to deliver this programme of work.

What you can do

If you are concerned about someone who is begging or rough sleeping, phone our Contact Centre on 04 499 4444.

We handle these calls so agencies can focus on delivering their core services. It also means we’re able to follow trends around the city and allocate our resources effectively.

If you think the behaviour of someone on the street is unlawful or unsafe, phone Wellington Police on 04 381 2000. In an emergency, phone 111.