When the country went into level 4 lockdown, life as we knew it would never be the same. This also threw the spotlight on what the tribe was doing to support and enable our people to cope in a time of uncertainty and massive change. Although some people were relatively unaffected in the financial sense, and jobs remained secure and the bills were still being paid – kids were at home 24/7, kaumaatua and kuia couldn’t even leave the whare to go for a walk and all these things bought about hinengaro and wairua challenges that all whaanau have been confronted with.
The most fortunate of us were still having to juggle mahi with teaching our tamariki full time, as well as making sure our pakeke were taken care of. At the other end of the scale, some whaanau have lost their jobs on top of what’s just been mentioned above, the struggle has been real.
Out of pure necessity to ensure our people were supported in all the ways we were able, business at Waikato-Tainui has changed. It had to. You told us so, and we have been listening. Since level 4 lockdown we have provided kai packs to our most vulnerable, wellbeing packs to our pakeke, forced our way in to partner with DHB’s in our rohe to get the front line medical support you needed as far as flu vaccines to our remote areas, and testing as well. How were you supposed to know how to conduct tangihanga during lockdown when it’s never been done in our generation? How were you supposed to prep your marae to re-open when that’s also unheard of in our generation? We had to get these resources and tools together and out to the people and that’s what we did. This is just a few examples of where we responded to the needs of our people in unprecedented times like these.
We’re out of lockdown and one of a few countries in the world who has been able to resume life as normal. However, we’re not out of the woods yet. Community transmission of the virus is still a possibility and therefore we need to remain vigilant. We took all the learnings from the recent moths since lockdown, and have reviewed our 5 year plan which guides our work programmes. We took into account also the reductions in dividends we have receive from our financial investment entity, Tainui Group Holdings, which means less puutea to spread around. We got to work and came up with our new resilience plan which will replace our 5 year plan forthgoing. Enabling and supporting marae development is important. Whenua is important. Wai is important. Health and Wellbeing of our people is important – and maximising Hopuhopu to be fit for purpose to serve our tribal members going forward is important. These are the priority projects over the next 12-18 months and we need your input over the next few months. Working together with our marae whaanau is the only way we can ensure the mahi we do will meet your needs.
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