SHARING IS CARING: Care packages were packed and ready to be delivered before lockdown. Photo supplied.

AS the nation prepared for lockdown earlier this week, many iwi were working diligently behind the scenes, putting together care packs for the most vulnerable.

Ngai Tuhoe is one of many iwi in the region that has been involved in delivering kaumatua (elderly) packs and establishing safe houses for those in need.

A Tuhoe spokesman says the iwi is doing its part for the New Zealand containment strategy and stopping the spread of Covid-19, and delivering care packages, providing advice and educating people.

“We’re also ensuring we are connected with Oranga Tamariki on critical cases and uplifts at this time and are currently outfitting a home to take people. This is a temporary measure to keep tangata whenua, manuhiri and the whole population of Te Urewera and New Zealand safe.

“We encourage everyone to call your loved ones, check in on the vulnerable, but most of all stay home and stay safe,” the spokesman says.

Te Waimana Executive Committee member Toni Boynton said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, that the tribal authority had been working hard to stock up more than 100 care packages for their pakeke (adults) living in Matahi, Waimana and through to Kutarere.

Kai packages for their vulnerable families were also delivered on Wednesday, Toni says.

Care packs for kaumatua with kids

FOR some students, lunch from Kids Can and milk from Fonterra, is the one substantial meal that gets them through their learning day.

More than 40 students’ from Kaingaroa Forest School live with their grandparents or have regular contact with kaumatua.

School principal Marylouise Macpherson-Hall says a lot of their pupils are in the full-time care of kaumatua aged 70 or over, leading to an action plan to help this vulnerable group.

“We’ve made up around 27 care packs with our kids, and they have been sent home with those kaumatua who are caring and responsible for their mokopuna,” she says.