Ngāti Kahungunu emergency hubs supports whānau through lockdown

By Aroha Treacher

Tihei Mauri Ora is the Māori emergency response from Kahungunu to support its people through lockdown. It is made up of seven hubs, supported by multiple agencies, and encourages people to get in touch.

The hubs coordinate welfare relief to those struggling.

"So we have a hub in Wairoa, Mohaka, Ahuriri, Heretaunga, Tamatea, Tararua and Wairarapa," Emergency Response Coordinator Henry Heke says.

It is encouraging whānau not to be whakamā to get in touch.

"We have an 0800 number, 0800-211-024, and that number comes directly to us. It’s not an answer-phone at the moment, you’re going to find someone else on the other end."

Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga has handed out around 1,600 hygiene boxes to kaumātua, with another 2,000 planned next week.

"I think a lot of people had food but not a lot of people had a face mask or disposable gloves and the hand sanitiser. They certainly were grateful for the $100 voucher that went with it," Des Ratima, of Whakatū, says.

It has also set up a COVID-19 assessment centre on-site and is open for health services.

"Before your arrival to see us here at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, please ring ahead so that we can prepare ourselves for you," Kiri Bird says.

It has also administered more than 600 flu immunisations to date.

"It’s really important if we can protect against the flu, then that’s one awesome thing that we can try and avoid if we ended up getting the coronavirus on top of that," she says. 

*People needing health support in the region should call 0800 Taiwhenua or 0800 211 024.