April 23, 2020
Tribe’s motel units provide shelter for homeless
Whakatane-based Ngāti Awa is using motels owned by its White Island Tours subsidiary to house the homeless during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The tourism business was hit hard by the Whakaari-White Island eruption.
Enid Ratahi-Pryor from health and social service provider Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa says it has so far housed 18 whānau in the units and is supporting them in other ways, along with other vulnerable members of the community.
"Frozen kai for reheating and also at the same time working to support whānau in need during lockdown, and that's in areas of family harm and just giving them support over the phone, talking with them," she says.
Ngāti Awa is also including whānau on Motiti in its care package, sending two planeloads of supplies this week.
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