(Warning - this is a long post but an important one, so please stick with it.)
Tēnā hoki koutou,
Over the past fortnight we have focused on helping our whānau, hapū and marae to plan and put in place (or adapt) tikanga, and gather resources, in response to COVID-19 and in preparation for this unprecedented and nationwide rāhui - aka lockdown.
We are very proud of the careful and considered responses from you all. Because of all your hard work, by Wednesday 25th March:
1. The vast majority of us had provided for our immediate needs (kai, wai, cleaning supplies, accommodation and connectivity) over the next week; and
2. We had worked out ways to ensure our most vulnerable elderly and unwell can stay at home throughout the duration of this rāhui.
As soon as the rāhui started, we turned our attention to the coming weeks and months because we know that as time passes, there will be an INCREASE in essential needs and a DECREASE in means for many of our people.
We have some resources to help meet some of those needs. But, because me and my small team do not meet the criteria of essential workers, we cannot directly purchase or deliver those resources in a timely and safe way to whoever needs them.
That is why we have done the following things in the past three days:
1. Partnered with Te Kahu o Taonui (TKOT - the Taitokerau Iwi Chairs Forum and their virtual team) to maximise our logistical capacity in bulk purchasing, communications, emergency housing and accommodation, emergency management and response planning; and,
2. Entered into agreements with two essential services here in Kaitaia - Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri who will act as our collection hub and main distribution point directly to our people IN THE ROHE, and Te Hiku Hauora who will also help with delivery. We are also entering a similar agreement with Ngati Kahu Social & Health Services.
Right now we are working on:
1. Getting the necessary PPEs (personal protection equipment) for the essential workers who will be doing the picking up and/or delivering;
2. Setting protocols to ensure that they can do both in a way that keeps them and everyone else safe;
3. Composing template questionnaires to help us accurately assess what essential supplies are needed by whom;
4. Setting up a first contact number for people to call/text about their essential needs;
5. Setting up, in partnership with TKOT, a central comms hub where our people can go to get accurate information relevant to their whānau, hapū and iwi; and,
6. Considering the best way to help our whānau living in other regions. The simplest and most tika option may be to put resources into the iwi collectives in those regions.
We hope to complete these preparations by the middle of next week and will let you know the details ASAP.
At this time we stress how serious this pandemic is and how important it is for us all to observe the rāhui by following the rules which are clearly laid out in the article on this link https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=150...
Until tomorrow, I close today with this karakia:
Ma te ra e kawe mai te ngoi ia ra, ia ra
Ma te marama e whakaora i a koe i waenga po,
Ma te ua e horoi ou maharahara,
Ma te hau e pupuhi te pakahukahu ki roto i to tinana,
I roto i ou hikoitanga i te ao,
Kia whakaora koe ki te humarie ataahua hoki o ou ra
Mo ake tonu atu
May the sun bring you energy by day
May the moon softly restore you by night
May the rain wash away your worries
May the wind blow new strength into your being
May you walk on this earth in peace all the days of your life
and know its beauty forever and ever