John Tamihere: 'We've been dealing with pandemics for 250 years'

By Tumamao Harawira

Nearly 100 Te Whānau-a-Waipareira whānau gathered in the house o Ngā Tūmanako at Hoani Waititi Marae last night to discuss the events of the past 12 months, and also to re-elect Ray Hall as chairman of the board of trustees.

But Covid-19 was at the top of the agenda.

The key takeaway for Waipareira this year was its ability to shift from community driver to Covid-19 response leader, chief executive John Tamihere said.

"If there was ever a year that was going to showcase how effective this organisation is, 2020 is it, he said.

Te Whānau O Waipareira is used to taking care of our West Auckland whānau no matter what challenges they face and this year our challenge was Covid-19.”

Leading the response

‘We promptly became the backbone for the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, distributing thousands and thousands of hygiene packs through all the partners to whānau across Te Ika a Māui," Tamihere said.

"Our collective distribution chain was so effectual that packs sent from Tāmaki Makaurau were arriving in the most remote areas within 36 hours.”

"It’s just another pandemic. We have been dealing with pandemics for 250 years.

Re-elected chairman Ray Hall said this year had been challenging for all but Waipareira had again been setting the standards, "thanks largely to the vision of John Tamihere and work by our frontline kaimahi." 

The annual meeting also featured the annual, report which celebrated Waipareira activities and whānau and included a brief summary of finances, with an auditor's note indicating the (brief) summary was not a substitute for reading the audited consolidated financial statements of the group.

But, according to chief financial officer Christine Wu, “for the year ended June 30, 2020, there was a group net operating surplus of $5.2 million. This compares against the previous year’s net operating surplus of $3.9 million (a 32% improvement).  Also, total assets increase from $58.9 million to $65.6 million (an 11.4% improvement)."