Ngati Hine moves to Alert Level Three with Caution
Updated: Apr 26
Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine community response group while supportive of the recent government decision to move from Alert Level Four to Alert Level Three next week continues to emphasize vigilance and perseverance. Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine cautions communities and whanau of Te Tai Tokerau that this is no time to be comfortable or complacent.
Research suggests that Maori are more at risk, with many Maori in their 60s at more risk than Pakeha in their 80s. Therefore, Alert Level Three restrictions should not be a one-size-fits-all. Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine will look to work with officials to ensure whanau and community voices are heard and recognised. While international data is suggesting that COVID-19 has older people at greater risk, underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and asthma also increased death rates and Maori are over represented in these statistics.
The commitment and teamwork shown in Te Tai Tokerau has been tremendous. An example has been Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine that was established four weeks ago as the Ngati Hine community response group, charged to lead out a long-term community response to COVID-19 and provide a collective impact amongst many partners.
Following community initiatives seen during lock down Te Manawaroa continues to reach out and support whanau within Te Porowini o Ngati Hine. At the heart of its strategy, is the aim to support whanau, hapu and hapori to empower themselves and provide crisis support to their own with ongoing wellbeing support according to their own tikanga.
“Our people are an amazing example of ‘tenacity, resilience and strength of character’, which are principles that continue to guide the kaupapa of Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine through its work with the community. We are proud of how committed our people are to ensure we stay safe as a people” said Pita Tipene.
As the nation moves into the next Alert Levels, Te Manawaroa is encouraging whanau to remain focused and stick to the united plan. “Now is not the time to let our guards down, we must stay in our ‘bubbles’ as much as we can”, says Dr Mataroria Lyndon.
Over the next weeks, several partners in Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine including Ngati Hine Health Trust are providing community outreach clinics with drive in COVID-19 Testing and Flu immunisations. The outreach clinics have already been out to remote areas like Pipiwai and Waikare. Next week they move into other communities like Motatau, Karetu, Rawhiti, Mangakahia and Matawaia.
He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust, a key partner within Te Manawaroa continues to provide kai and care packs for vulnerable whanau in the area. Community representative Pamela-Anne Ngohe-Simon said the trust has been supporting the people of Moerewa, Matawaia, Opahi and Orauta with essentials but that more importantly they were sharing hope and aroha.
Tukau Legacy Clothing have an initiative where whanau can nominate others to receive clothing as the cold winter months descend to help ease some pressure. The initiatives are to support whanau during the pandemic. Other groups Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine have worked alongside include Kia ora Ngati Wai, Ngati Wai Trust, Te Runanga a iwi o Ngapuhi, Te Hau Awhiowhio o Otangarei and several others.
Next week schools, kura and early childhood centres decide how they may open. Many whanau will choose to stay home and maintain their ‘bubble’ and Te Manawaroa respects the right for each whanau to choose what is best for them. However, we can see from across the world that leaving isolation too soon can mean the virus flares up again.
“At the same time peoples livelihoods and mana motuhaketanga need to be taken into consideration. For many going to work is critical to their livelihood and especially as the lock-down bites into our lives," says Geoff Milner, CEO of Ngati Hine Health Trust.
Te Manawaroa o Ngati Hine supports:
✔️ Physical distancing of two metres outside of the kainga.
✔️ Good hand hygiene – washing with soap and drying properly.
✔️ People to stay home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement – including to go to work, school or kura if they have to or for local recreation.
✔️ Bubbles stay within their immediate household bubble, but can expand this to reconnect with close family/whanau, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. This extended bubble should remain exclusive.
✔️ Schools (years 1 to 10) and Early Childhood Education centres can safely open, but will have limited capacity. Tamariki should learn at home if possible.
✔️ People must work from home unless that is not possible. Businesses can open premises, but cannot physically interact with customers.
✔️ Low risk local recreation activities are allowed. Public venues are closed, eg libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds, markets.
✔️ Gatherings of up to 10 people allowed but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga/huimate. Physical distancing and public health measures must be maintained. ✔️ Healthcare services use virtual, non-contact consultations where possible.
✔️ Inter-regional travel is highly limited, eg for essential workers, with limited exemptions for others.
✔️ People at high risk of severe illness (older people and those with existing medical conditions) are encouraged to stay at home where possible, and take additional precautions when leaving home. They may choose to work.
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