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How did Te Hauora O Ngāti Rārua meet the needs of their community during the COVID-19 lockdown?

Te Hauora O Ngāti Rārua – Service Delivering During the COVID-19 Lockdown

As the only Iwi Māori Health Provider in Marlborough, Te Hauora O Ngāti Rārua was fortunate to be operating as a non-clinical essential service during lockdown.

For the first couple of weeks in COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown, the focus was to ensure whānau were safe and comfortable at home and had the basics for a minimum of two weeks. Nelson Marlborough Health supplied a limited number of aroha packs, which were distributed to kāumatua. Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua staff also organised food, medication deliveries and doctor appointments for whānau.

At week two of lockdown, Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua had aligned ourselves with Manaaki-ā-Iwi (Civil Defence Emergency Management Māori Team) and committed to assisting with food shopping, deliveries and phone triage. They then engaged with Marlborough Primary Health and Public Health Nurses to organise a flu clinics for Māori whānau. All of the clinics were conducted in a car park located outside of a General Practice.

Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua is a member of the Whānau Ora commissioning agency Te Pūtahitanga, Te Hauora O Ngāti Rārua was selected to be a distribution centre for 2000 hygiene packs across Marlborough. Thirty three pellets of goods were delivered to Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua. The staff did a stocktake of all the products delivered, then they individually packed the 2000 hygiene packs. Arrangements were then made with Marae, Whānau Ora workers and Iwi members to support the distribution of the 2000 packs. Over 1400 packs were delivered within four days to whānau, hapū, iwi and marae.

Five photo block showing packing and  delivering food packages

Overwhelming Community Effort: Te Hauora O Ngāti Rārua, along with their community partners, put together food and hygiene packs during the lockdown on an almost industrial scale

Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua were fortunate to have been given supplies that they could then distribute to wider community, which included to rural areas where whānau needed assistance, also to Kōhanga, Māori Wardens, Women’s Refuge and to our Pacific Fanau. They had distribution chains organised that allowed agency workforces to be utilised, meaning we could reach more whanau.

Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua also received several pellets of fruit to be distributed to whānau that they received on a regular basis donated by Wakatū Incorporation. The delivery of the pellets of fruit was support by the Department of Conservation. Fruit packs were also distributed with the 2000 hygiene packs.

The COVID-19 kaupapa encouraged both governmental and non-governmental agencies to work together. Because of the large number of food supplies given to Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua they took the opportunity to work with the Department of Corrections to create a simple cook book with simple, affordable recipes for their whānau.

Nā reira ka mihi ake rā ki Te Hauora O Ngāti Rārua i whakapau kaha ki te manaaki mai e ngā whānau, hapū, iwi me te hapori whānui o Te Wairau.