Ngāti Hine's Covid-19 taskforce releases marae toolkit

By Te Ao - Māori News

Ngāti Hine's Covid-19 emergency response taskforce, Te Manawaroa o Ngāti Hine, has released a Marae Guidelines Toolkit to help hapū and marae trustees protect whānau and community wellbeing at gatherings for hui-mate and other marae hui. 

"The toolkit aims to support the practicalities of the level two Covid-19 precautions set out by the government in a bid to continue protecting whānau and community health and wellbeing." the group said in a media release today.

"While each marae works under its own rangatiratanga and autonomy, the guidelines have been created to provide practical support for whānau and hapū members who may be struggling to grapple with how to practice tikanga while keeping whānau safe.

"Hongi, harirū and embracing whānau members particularly when someone passes is an important part of supporting the grieving family at hui-mate and the impacts of Covid-19 means these tikanga (protocols) are restricted."

Te Manawaroa chair Pita Tipene says, “We acknowledge this is a tough time for grieving whānau and support our marae to make wise decisions in hosting hui-mate.”

While the Ministry of Health provides national guidelines, the taskforce says "a part of the Te Manawaroa strategy has always been to look at how any national policies to combating Covid-19 can be localised to a Te Tai Tokerau and Ngāti Hine context."

Te Manawaroa planner Huhana Lyndon says, “The guidelines have been developed as a support to marae trustees and hapū leaders who are more often than not volunteers supporting their marae at a local level. It is intended to be practical and helpful to our whānau, while ensuring we continue to show manaakitanga on our marae under Covid-19 level two conditions.”

The group says the "marae guidelines prompt whānau and each marae’s leadership to have a plan. That plan includes how to host hui on the marae in a practical way, how to contact trace people, health and safety, food handling and koha considerations."

“Many aspects of hosting hui day to day are taken for granted. Through this toolkit we encourage whānau to plan ahead before taking hui to their marae,” says Lyndon.

The toolkit is available through the Ngāti Hine FM and Ngāti Hine a Hineamaru Facebook pages or by emailing communications@nhht.co.nz for the full PDF version of the Marae Guidelines Toolkit.