Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Te Korowai o Ngāruahine are today announcing a digital iwi response team to support their registered descendants with responding to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The team will be calling all of the thousands of registered descendants of both Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāruahine regardless of where they are living, and will take incoming calls from whānau on the team’s phone line, 0800 782 684.
“This is the next stage in our response as an iwi and we are grateful to be working alongside our whanaunga iwi rūnanga, Te Korowai o Ngāruahine, to ensure that there is a coordinated and localised response across South Taranaki,” said Ngāti Ruanui kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“We have already been delivering hundreds of sanitiser packs to our kaumātua and our Ngāti Ruanui Healthcare medical centre in Hāwera has just recently been established as the Covid-19 testing site for South Taranaki.
“I am also working to ensure that we are connected with the national response. We are engaging with the Crown daily and I am a member of the regional Taranaki coordination group, the Ministry of Health’s Māori advisory group, and the National Iwi Chairs Forum pandemic response group.
“We need to remind ourselves where we come from. Our people have survived through generations of struggle and we are predesigned for situations like this – it’s in every part of us. Trust that together, we have the solutions, the resilience and the aroha to get through this,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.
“Today we have established our digital response team to ensure that our whānau are able to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, and that they are connected with us during what will be a difficult and stressful time for everyone,” said Te Korowai o Ngāruahine Pouhautū Allie Hemara-Wahanui.
“Together with the Ngāruahine Iwi Health Service and Ngāti Ruanui, we will be calling all whānau who whakapapa to Ngāruahine and/or Ngāti Ruanui and are registered with us, to ensure that they are aware of vital information and have what they need. Whānau will also be able to proactively call 0800 782 684 with questions or concerns, and we will help connect them with services.
“Our two iwi are deploying over 100 staff to deliver on the overall response plan. Our digital response team will be operating as an essential service – we are here to serve our people and in times of struggle that is more important than ever.
“We are proud to be working alongside our whanaunga iwi Ngāti Ruanui and we will continue to work hard to make sure the needs of our people are cared for. As a people we will look after each other and together we will get through this,” said Mrs Hemara-Wahanui.