July 26, 2022
Two more marae join Te Tauihu emergency Ipu Ohotata Network
TWO MORE MARAE JOIN TE TAUIHU EMERGENCY IPU OHOTATA NETWORK
MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE USE
An iwi-led project to bolster emergency preparedness across Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui has marked a new milestone, with two more marae now better equipped to respond should disaster strike.
On Monday, Ipu Ohotata emergency containers were blessed and launched at Tuamātene Marae in Grovetown and Omaka Marae in Blenheim.
This follows the launch of Ipu Ohotata at Waikawa Marae and Hauhunga Marae, in Spring Creek, in April.
Dr Lorraine Eade, Pouwhakahaere Rauemi at Te Kotahi o Te Tauihu Charitable Trust, a collaboration of the eight Te Tauihu iwi, said marae in a way were already first responders in a disaster, and the network of Ipu Ohotata solidified that role and took it one step further.
“Our marae are a safe haven, and we know that when disaster strikes, with one phone call, they will be there; Omaka Marae demonstrated this last year during the July floods when over 50 people were stranded on State Highway 1. In the space of half an hour they had opened the marae, the heaters were on, beds were ready, and kai prepped. This is what our marae do, manaaki and care for people.”
“So, this container network acknowledges that key role our marae play and ensures they have what they need when the time comes. It also recognises a lot of hard work in the past year working on Marae Emergency Response Plans and building a specialised response team set up to work alongside Emergency Management,” Eade said.
For Rangitāne o Wairau, General Manager Corey Hebberd said the Ipu Ohotata supplements a wider programme of restoration and rebuild work at Tuamātene Marae in recent years to ensure it is a safe, accessible, warm and dry place for whānau. That programme has seen the building exterior upgraded, new roofs for the wharemoe and wharekai, and a new ablutions block as well as an extended maara kai, which is already helping feed the community.
“Tuamātene is a place of sustenance for Rangitāne, and this new level of preparedness builds on that,” says Hebberd. “It means that in the event of an emergency, we can have some certainty and be in better position to manaaki our wider community.”
Since it was established by iwi in February last year, Te Kotahi o Te Tauihu Trust has been working on a consistent emergency response across the Te Tauihu rohe (Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman), resulting in the Te Tauihu Emergency Management Strategy.
As part of this, last year, Te Kotahi applied for National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) funding to help realise some of the aspirations iwi held in relationship to Emergency Management; this included the production of eight Ipu Ohotata, or emergency containers, geographically spread across Te Tauihu. Philanthropic foundation RATA supported the project also, contributing 50 per cent of the costs.
Aroha Bond, of Omaka Marae, said the marae had really valued the partnerships built along the way.
“Our local Emergency Management team, they’ve been great, and I think as a community we are in really good hands. There has also been a good commitment in a national sense, and it was great to host some of our NEMA friends here today. I can honestly say it’s been a team effort.”