Major effort made to deliver kai packages to kaumātua in Whangarei

By Dean Nathan

There has been a mammoth effort in Whangārei and surrounding rohe including 19 marae with Ngāti Wai Trust Board, Whangārei Takiwā o Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi and supported by Te Manawaroa o Ngāti Hine combining to package and deliver over 350 food parcels for kaumātua and needy.

War veteran Hori Parata, of Ngāti Wai, received one of the food parcel deliveries.

"My Zoom conference yesterday with other fellas from Ngāti Wai discussed 'He aha te kaupapa mo Ngāti Wai mo tera mahi tūpāpaku.'  And that's what I said to them, I said that COVID-19 is not the only thing that's going to kill us tomorrow.  There are other things that have been killing us for years, a long time." Parata says.

The packing and delivery was a collaboration to assist those living in the tribal homelands and in town.

"Arohamai to all those who have packed these lovely bags and given of your time to do this. We can't go out and do our own shopping and it's nice when somebody else does it because it's a surprise," Anne Davies says, who is Ngāti Kahu o Torongare, Te Parawhau and Te Waiariki.

Parata has been using his time at home in lockdown to complete his doctorate on the generational trauma of Māori.

"You know, power, control, profit, ownership and rights and stuff like that have caused a lot of ridiculousness for us as Māori because it's really hard to apply the type of tikanga that we're meant to be."

On the day that the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ are commemorated by the Christian world, love is the key component of the work being carried out here to support whānau.

"Love is the utmost treasure in our traditions, to have compassion for our people at home in lockdown and sharing that compassion for one another," Taipari Munroe, of Ngāpuhi, says.