Whiria Te Muka – Iwi Collaboration comestogether to reflect on COVID-19response in the Whangārei Rohe

The Ngātiwai Kaumātua Kapa Haka perform at the celebration
The Ngātiwai Kaumātua Kapa Haka perform at the celebration

Ngātiwai Trust Board, Te Manawaroa o Ngāti Hine and Whangārei Takiwa (Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi) came together on the 30 July to celebrate Te Matahi o Te Tau with kaumātua and invited guests from throughout the Whangārei rohe.

The Whangārei rohe is unique in Tai Tokerau – as an urban centre we came together as iwi and worked together to support all those in need during Covid-19.
It’s our whakapapa that binds us and through that relationship we united.

Over the Covid-19 lockdown and into Level 2 the iwi collaboration worked positively together to provide care and support to those in need and help navigate whānau into specialist support services.

“Te Manawaroa o Ngāti Hine led a rohe approach to our Covid-19 Emergency Response, bringing together community, hapū and government agencies to provide a comprehensive support network for all those in need\” says Pita Tipene Chair of Te Manawaroa o Ngāti Hine.

This Matariki event brought together over 100 kaumātua from throughout Whangārei to celebrate the Māori New Year and the way with which our people united in the Covid-19 response.

Kaumātua from across the rohe enjoy a nice kai and social time together

“Kaumātua and vulnerable whanāu were a priority for us in our Covid-19 response, this event gave an opportunity for our kaumātua to mix and mingle after being in lockdown for such a long time. We know that many of our kaumātua were alone or isolated – so the importance of kick-starting that social connection is important post Covid-19\” says Janelle Beazley of Whangārei Ngāpuhi Takiwa.

The hui recognised the many sponsors, funders and the many \’hands\’ that contributed to the collaborative efforts.

\”As younger people, we came together through our iwi connections to support the 
Covid-19 response, it’s a wonderful opportunity to come together and reflect on the gains made through this collaboration\”, says Huhana Lyndon, planner for Te Manawaroa o Ngāti Hine.

The event featured Eric Rush as keynote speaker, owner of Regent and Kaikohe, New World speaking as a Māori business owner supporting iwi to provide welfare support into the region. Sophie Sparrow (Whangārei Opera Singer) provided a beautiful musical interlude and the Ngātiwai Kaumātua Kapa Haka group finished the event with a heart warming performance.

\”So many people and organisations over the last few months have given so much of their own time, resources, food, manaaki and aroha to this awesome kaupapa. So the Matariki celebration was our chance to say THANK YOU\”, says Simon Mitchell, Trustee of Ngātiwai Trust Board and operations lead for welfare support.

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