MONDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2022
KIA MATAARA! TE KAHU OTAONUI URGE URI TO STAY PROACTIVE AND RESILIENT IN THE FACE OF OMICRON WITHINTAITOKERAU
Omicron is now herein our hāpori and communities. As Iwi Chairs, we know the last 19 months have been hard for all of us - wehave weathered a storm, one that seems to never subside and one we areconstantly having to face to keep all of us safe, to protect each other and ourmost at risk whānau members. Our journey so far has allowed us to think, plan,work and provide together – as Māori, kotahitanga and working together is ournatural response because we stand with our whānau in wanting to protect ourwhakapapa.
Me mahi tahi tātou,mō te ōrangatonutanga te take!
It is inevitable thatwe will need to learn to live with COVID-19 and we want to ensure that our whānau, hapū, iwi and hāpori are well-equipped with the right tools to do this. Therefore, we urge all uri in Te Taitokerau to plan and prepare your households, hapū and marae for the months ahead and for whānau to vaccinate or get boosted. This will increase your protection from Omicron -especially from severe illness and needing to go to hospital. Wherever possible whānau should refrain from travelling to areas with large numbers of positive cases. Finally, if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, get tested; this will protect you, your loved ones and your community.
Harry Burkhardt, Lead Chair of Te Kahu o Taonui says: "We encourage whānau to protect each other through vaccination. The vaccine is safe and offers protection not only to your tamariki but the entire household. The higher our vaccination rates, the higher our chances to keep us all safe. Research and discuss vaccination of your tamariki within your whānau and please talk to your GP or hauora worker ifyou have concerns or questions". You can stay connected to official sources of information through our Te Kahu o Taonui website www.tkot.org.nz.
Peter-Lucas Jones,Chair of Te Aupōuri iwi says "It’s important that you get a plan in place, prepare your pātaka kai and ensure you have enough supplies to get through. We will see numbers of sick whānau continue to increase, and the system will not be offering the level of wrap-around support that was once available. We have to start looking after ourselves and each other because our health and social services will be struggling to keep up".
Manaakitanga means caring for one another. It is about protecting whakapapa; it is the unity of the collective. It is within this vein that we also acknowledge all Taitokerau uri who, regardless of their vaccination status have remained vigilant with upholding the health and safety tikanga that have so far helped to keep us all safe. Let’s continue to look out for each other, encourage other whānau to reach out and lean into the services that are there to help.
We must do what wecan and protect who we are as Māori for generations to come.
Let us ensure that nouri are left behind - kia kakama, kia pakari tātou.
For media enquiries please contact Kaye Maree Dunn on (021) 029 24328