Covid has hit our people hard, some would say the hardest. In the face of a pandemic, history has shown us that here in Aotearoa – Maaori are the most susceptible. But this is nothing new. We have a history of institutions such as Kiingitanga being the advocator of its people through such hardship. Of the most well-known and documented examples, we can draw on Te Puea and her efforts during the Influenza pandemic of 1918 to help guide us in a response to current Covid-19 pandemic.
When the country went into lockdown in March this year, fear was at an all time high. Fear for basic health and safety, fear for job security and a general sense of unknowing around what the next day, week and month would bring in such a time of global uncertainty.
None of this went amiss with the kaimahi of Waikato-Tainui, as the tribal entity, it was identified early on that key areas within the 5 year plan would need to be accelerated in order to build resilience at a time when all of sudden this would become the most worthwhile currency.
The 5 key areas of accelerated time, focus and energy include; marae and people development; outstanding water issues; the wholistic wellbeing of tribal members; land utilisation and planning, as well as the Hopuhopu Innovation Hub. This is not to say that all other important areas of focus were wiped from the slate, but with limited time and available resource during such unprecedented times, resilience of the people and their place (marae) became the focus.
Each project is evaluated and updated on a regular basis so as not to become stagnant and outdated. Get a sense of the projects and the people behind them by visiting the dedicated home for the Taniwha Projects here.