URGENT MESSAGE FROM TE MANA CHAIR, LEITH COMER
Tēnā koutou ngā uri o Ngāti Rangitihi,
I write to you as the Government announces the latest developments in the fight against COVID-19. This is an unprecedented event in our lifetime and on behalf of Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust, I want to assure you that we will do everything we can for our Iwi to ensure you have the support you need. Our priority is always the health and safety of our people.
As of Monday 23 March, we are currently at alert level 3, to be moved to alert level 4 in 48 hours. As per the Government’s four-level alert system in the fight against COVID-19, this means that there is very likely community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand and we must stay home to limit and stop and eradicate the spread of COVID-19.
As we all work together to follow the precautions outlined by the Government, we must remember our core values, as Māori, as Iwi and as whānau: Kotahitanga, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. Now is the time to work together as a collective to support and look out for each other as best we can, in particular those more vulnerable: our kaumātua and those with existing health conditions. It is also important that we look after our mental health during these times.
Our people are spread all across Aotearoa and abroad. Our thoughts are with all of our Iwi and we urge you to follow the Government precautions listed here.
We know many of our kaumātua are not online, so please share the information in this pānui and any relevant official information from the Government about COVID-19 with them. We will be providing regular Te Mana-related updates as needed via pānui, our Facebook page and our website.
The current precautions are available on the official Government website: https://covid19.govt.nz/ and we have listed some key ones further down this pānui.
Please note, our physical Te Mana office will be closed as of Tuesday 23 March. However, you can contact our key administrative staff as per the details below:
- Email: [email protected]
- D’Arcy Stoneham: 027 557 4456
- Alana Hunter: 027 557 4453
Measures being taken by Te Mana
Our Te Mana staff are doing a commendable job of ensuring our people, and our kaumātua in the region in particular are looked after. If you have any questions around support available or if you can offer some support yourself, please contact D’Arcy or Alana.
Support for kaumātua: We have put in place some immediate measures to ensure our community is supported. These include running supplies (e.g. groceries) for our kaumātua and being in regular phone contact with kaumātua to check on their wellbeing and offer any support we can. Please contact us if you need any assistance here.
Closure of Rangitihi Marae: Ngāti Rangitihi kāhui kaumātua, members of the Pae Tapu, Marae Trust and Committee already decided at a kaumātua hui held on 18 March, that Rangitihi Marae is now temporarily closed until further notice. This measure was effective as of 18 March and all bookings are currently being cancelled. This decision is in line with the latest precautions announced by Government. We know this means adjustments to our tikanga but the priority now is to stop and eradicate COVID-19.
Avoid hongi: As part of precautions to avoid close personal contact (physical distancing), we ask that whānau please do not perform hongi. We know this goes against our tikanga, but the gravity of the situation calls for this.
Working with Government and relevant agencies: We were encouraged by the Government’s announcement this week that they will dedicate $56 million in spending to $56 million to support Māori communities and businesses who are feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more about this here. We are working with the relevant agencies so that we understand what support is available for our people and to ensure our response against COVID-19 is co-ordinated. We will communicate any updates with you.
Keeping our settlement negotiations moving: COVID-19 does not mean our settlement negotiations have stopped. It just means the way we engage with the Crown and kōrero over the next few weeks will be different as we move these discussions online. We are committed to keeping our settlement moving and what this means in terms of timeframes will be communicated with you as soona s we know more.
The situation is moving quickly. Make sure you are following the official information from the Government and sharing this information with your whānau so that everyone is aware and updated.
On behalf of Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust, I urge you all to stay safe and look out for one another. It is times like these that test the resolve of our people, but with unity, we can overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
We are fully supportive of the measures being advised by Government to ensure we stop and eradicate COVID-19.
Let’s unite in our efforts achieve this. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.
Precautions everyone needs to take to stop the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home – this applies to everyone.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Practice physical distancing – refrain from hongi, hugs and handshakes.
- If you are displaying any symptoms, or have questions relating to illness, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 at any time of the day or night. Please do not go to hospital first if you think you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms – ring from home first and they will guide you on what to do.
- No mass indoor or outdoor gatherings.
- Work from home – non-essential businesses will be closed.
- Don’t panic buy at supermarkets – think of others and purchase only what you need. The Government has assured us there is plenty of food to go round.
- Importantly, look after each other, while taking the precautions listed above. Stay connected, in regular contact, by phone or online, and look after your mental health.
- Limit all travel. After Wednesday 23 March, everyone will be required to not travel and to stay home.