March 30, 2020
Agency ramps up Maori distribution network
North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency is ramping up its distribution system so it can get thousands of packs of hygiene products out to whānau around the country.
Chief executive John Tamihere says the country was ill-prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, but his agency has a duty to ensure it does not savage the Māori community.
He says because hygiene products are a luxury for many low-income whānau, that’s what is in the packs going out this week to sub-distribution centres in Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, Gisborne and Wellington.
It’s also looking at the needs of whānau who have lost their jobs.
"As that starts to bite, we're obliged to get more food packs as well as hygiene out. As winter bites, we're obliged to get more warm clothing out, more warm bedding, because if we don't this virus will hammer our communities, more than anybody else, we all that, so we have had to build our distribution up because no one else will," Mr Tamihere says.
He’s looking more resources from government to use the distribution channel to get more supplies to whānau.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com