COVID-19 continues to present a significant risk to the world, including Aotearoa.
COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and Alert Level 3 in early 2020 brought to the fore and raised the importance of protecting our whānau and iwi, particularly those who are most at risk of COVID-19 - our kaumātua.
Whānau, hapū and iwi recognised the danger that COVID-19 presented to our communities - we dont have to look too far back in history to understand the devastating impact events such as the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic had on all Māori across the motu.
To protect our Ngāti Toa whānau, and with the support from Te Puni Kokiri and Whānau Ora, our Social Services Team, and staff from other Rūnanga teams worked directly with Ngāti Toa whānau to deliver care and kai packages to kaumātua and whānau, and rallied around to support those who needed it most.
Our Ora Toa Health Services also swung into action to ensure health services were still provided to our communities, as well as additional COVID-19 testing through a Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) centre in Porirua.
Our Education Services provided support to tamariki and rangatahi who were required to learn and study from home and we increased our online communications presence.
COVID-19 is still a very real threat to us and we must continue to be vigilant.
Saturday 27 February 2021
At a press conference at the Beehive, the Prime Minister Jacinda Adern announced that due to a community transmission COVID-19 case in Aukland, that currently has no known connection to the current cases, from 6am on Sunday 28 November, Aukland will go to Alert Level 3 for 7 days.
The rest of Aotearoa will go to Alert Level 2 for the same amount of time.
This is a timely reminder to continue to use the COVID Tracing App, wash your hands regularly and stay home if you are māuiui.
More information is available on the Unite Against COVID website at www.covid19.govt.nz
Guidance for whānau, hapū, iwi and marae
As COVID-19 is still a threat to Aotearoa, from time to time we may experience an increase of Alert Levels in an attempt to contain COVID-19 within a community or rohe.
If this happens, there is a wide range of information available to inform whānau and marae about what it means for us and what we might need to do differently for a while.
Information from the All of Government Unite Against COVID website is available here.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
On 20 February 2021, the nation-wide COVID-19 Vaccination Programme began, to provide us all with an additional layer of protection from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered in phases - protecting people in Aotearoa who are most at-risk to getting COVID-19 first.
The first phase is to vaccinate people who work at our international borders and in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) Facilities.
As part of this phase, whānau and those who live with people who are Border and MIQ staff will also be given the opportunity to be vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory.
Information for whānau of Border and MIQ staff is available here.
The Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Government is currently working to identify who should be vaccinated in the following phases of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
This means that it hasnt been confirmed yet who will be vaccinated next and when vaccinations will commence.
We'll provide more information as soon as it becomes available.