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Manaakitanga in Action

June 8, 2020 June 2020 No Comments

Martinborough’s Hau Ariki has always been a community marae; a facility for everyone, both Māori and Pakeha. That inclusive philosophy was very obvious during the lockdown when Hau Ariki, along with Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, teamed up to help vulnerable members of the community with food, comfort, information and practical support. 

“They were just wonderful”, says Rose Falconer who lives in the Senior Housing in Naples Street.    At first I thought I was included by mistake but they assured me they were there to help anyone who might need it.  So I was so privileged to get a package each week that included fish or meat, fruit, fresh vegetables, sugar and flour.  That was even when flour was scarce so my neighbour Huck Houghton, who makes his own bread, was delighted ”  

Hau Ariki acted as the base for the South Wairarapa operations which stretched from Moiki in the north to Tūturumuri in the South.  Ngati Kahungunu provided most of the food. Kevin Haunui, who coordinated the activities, said they provided assistance to some 60 households. “Not just the elderly but others at high risk and those supporting large households.  Some of the older people had no phones or way of being in contact with support agencies so our connecting to them was especially important.”  

Braving the lockdown for the Hau Ariki team were Lola Kiel Jnr, Nathan and Pip Maynard, and Toni Kerr. Ngāti Kahungunu organisers were Melissa Ihaka and Paddy Mason while John Rawhiti took care of Martinborough deliveries. 

Summing up the experience, Kevin said, “The chance for us to show our support for the wider community was one really positive thing to come out of this bad situation.” 

The marae received a small amount of government funding to assist with this work, and Whaiora provided hygiene packages.  Community donations of pumpkins and meat were also received by Hau Ariki to redistribute. MPI has just offered to supply enough pork for the next six weeks.

 

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