The Government is considering pre-purchasing motel rooms for the homeless to live in for approximately a week during the winter months until more permanent lodgings can be found but Hospitality NZ said taking on WINZ customers is a business decision that would need to be made by the individual motelier.

Rachael Shadbolt, general manager, accommodation, partnerships and communication at Hospitality NZ said some parts of the country had a heavier demand for this business than others.

“There are some motels that are happy to take this business, it suits their product and their location, while others might not operate in that market and might choose not to take the business as they are more in the tourism or corporate markets.”

In Auckland, some motels in lower socio-economic areas get regular calls from WINZ and do choose to take up the extra business.

“Because motels can provide accommodation that contains cooking facilities and are often in more residential locations, I can understand why they could be considered a temporary option in a moment of need,” Shadbolt said.

Pre-purchasing wouldn’t necessarily bring the cost down, however.

“Room rates generally come down to supply and demand, and if the demand is high for rooms, then the rates are going to reflect that. Also, some of WINZ customers can be quite large families, and this will put the price up as motels generally work on a rate for two people and then a charge for each extra person. Even at $25 for each extra person, this can add up quickly.”