Auckland City Mission CEO, Chris Farrelly expressed an immense amount of gratitude and aroha for the support from Māori communities in their efforts this year, and especially during this holiday season. He also encourages other cities to implement similar programs in their cities.
“There is no more caring community in our country, than iwi Māori. Whether it be iwi, hapū, whānau, or marae."
In its 99th year in operation, the mission teamed up with multiple communities, including Papakura marae, and Ngā Whare Waatea.
Together, they provided food, presents, and money to families in need during this Christmas season and throughout the year.
“We don't have to define what manaakitanga is to a marae, and they have shown that to us and to the community at large over the last few weeks, and I genuinely want to say, they have been incredible and they have demonstrated just unconditional care," Farrelly says.
Outreach efforts in Papakura marae and Ngā Whare Waatea marae. Source / File
With some families traveling from as far as Tokoroa and Hamilton to benefit from these services.
Farrelly acknowledges other communities running similar programs, and urges those who are not, to come and learn from them on how to do so.
“Our call out now is to those people in Tokoroa, Tauranga, Hamilton, Whakatāne, Whangārei - those local communities really should be responding, and in some cases they are.
“I really shout out and mihi to those communities that are doing this.
“But where it’s not, come here and we will tell you how to do it. I think there are people wanting to help, if only they knew how to, but I think every community should be doing this in their own place.”