Here to help the affected whānau - Manukau Urban Māori Authority

By Te Ao - Māori News

With Auckland in Alert Level 3 for another two days at least, Whānau Ora providers around Tāmaki Makaurau are organising to help whānau most in need.

Manukau Urban Māori Authority chair Bernie O'Donnell says that while he and the authority are looking out for whānau and their needs, he is also mindful of the things people don't see: mental health of whānau as well. 

He says, "It's bad enough they struggle throughout the year. This Level 3 and the restrictions don't help."

O'Donnell compares the last time that Auckland went to Alert Level 3, when the second outbreak came from South Auckland, to this week's one.

"The last time with whānau from South Auckland, the social media stuff was horrible. There was racism. Because social media is the way it is, they don't have to hide.

"The family members who were in the news, they were just doing what all New Zealanders do. They were at work, and it looks like they might have contracted the virus from their mahi. Second thing; all they were doing was going on a long holiday on Waitangi weekend in New Plymouth. There's nothing wrong with that stuff."

O'Donnell says he reached out to the whānau and even had a few words for his people in New Plymouth, where he is from.

"I called out to the whānau that were affected, we're here to help them. 

"I also want to implore our whānau from New Plymouth, we're better than that and we don't need to play the [blame] game.