May 04, 2020
COVID response shows Maori can look after own
Waipareira head John Tamihere says the COVID-19 pandemic shows how effective Māori can be when they take responsibility for their own health and welfare.
He says the drop to Alert Level 3 is a relief, but New Zealand can’t get back to normal until a vaccine is found, and it’s important to maintain discipline and social distancing as winter arrives.
He’s impressed with how roopu like, Manukau Urban Māori Authority, Manurewa Marae, Papakura Marae and Ngā Whare Waatea Marae stepped up to identify the most vulnerable in their communities and ensure they got the help they needed.
"I’ve never seen a better system of love and care and delivery than I've seen in the way that food packs, hygiene packs have been delivered lovingly to our elders, those in most need. The targeting of those – every one of those hygiene packs have gone to a house that earns under $40,000 a year. Every one of those packs has gone to a house where 70 per cent of the people are unemployed," Mr Tamihere says.
He says the 120,000 packs a month that went out through the whānau ora provider network ensured Māori weren’t stuck at the back to the queue.
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