A new digital platform called Paerangi has been launched to keep Māori better informed about COVID-19. It’s a one-stop-shop for information and resources. It also offers resources for the disabled, kaumātua and community marae. Lee Taniwha has used this resource, to keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 developments.
“The first two things that I looked at were the disability help and the kai. It shows the directory of all the options for kai banks, people that are offering services who are out there already doing the mahi. The second one was disability support,” Taniwha says.
At 13 years of age, Lee encountered a tragic accident leaving him paralysed.
“I still have the ability to use my thumb to swipe the screen and check for information,” Taniwha says.
The online source has made it easier for Taniwha to access information and find COVID-19 related services. Having everything in one spot and at his fingertips, has been a “game changer” for Taniwha. Tania Kingi explains the reasons behind their approach.
“For some communities it was quite a challenge to figure out what was being said, lots of unrelateable stuff. Some medical terms so we decided to grab all of that find a space where we can put it into, which is real easy to read information.”
Paerangi Pou Tuara Tania Kingi says they've received a wide response. People are even asking if they can have a Paerangi in their rohe as well.
“It is just for whānau here in Tāmaki. But there is no reason why we can’t grow this idea,” Kingi says.
Kingi goes on to explain the kaupapa behind the symbolism and imagery they use.
“In the waka behind me is the tētēkura or the figurehead that leads the waka. It's quite a symbolic symbol to the disability community because of two things. The tētēkura has no limits, the tētēkura is also the leader and the guide to where the waka is going.”
The website will continue as a general referral centre for the public, post-COVID.