Despite the gloomy weather, whānau were not discouraged in making their way to Waitetī Marae for COVID-19 testing. A steady stream of cars filled with whānau have arrived in droves, some as early as 8:30am.
Marae chairman Guy Ngātai extended his warm welcome to whānau
throughout Ngongotahā, as well as the wider Rotorua community, “haere
mai i runga i te kaupapa, te kaupapa whakaharahara, te kaupapa
haumaru, te kaupapa haumaruhia ake nei anō i tēnei hapori ā
Ngongotahā, nau mai haere mai ngā iwi e”.
Of those who have come through today, the majority have been Ngongotahā based whānau. However, many have come from central Rotorua such as Māori Wardens Reginald Steen and Liz Matenga of Fordlands.
We were also fortunate to have local face, Michael Naera set the scene for a great day by providing mihimihi and karakia.
Steen advises that “We’ve come out to get tested, everywhere else in town has been too busy or inaccessible”.
Matenga, shares that staying in the car to be tested is much more comfortable in her circumstances, “I have just had a mastectomy to treat breast cancer so being seen while in the car makes the process easier for me”.
Bringing whānau back to marae for community based testing is significant in how we interact, as well as deliver these services to our, hapū and iwi.
An awesome two days of collaboration between health service provides and Iwi, he mihi kau atu tēnei ki ngā Marae o Tāheke me Waitetī, Te Puna Ora o Mataatua, Te Rōpū Hauora o Te Arawa, Korowai Aroha, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao, Healthy Families Rotorua and the Whānau Ora Commissioning agency.