Crisis response secures kai for whānau

Published: September 9, 2021

To ensure tamariki and whānau had access to kai during the COVID-19 lockdown, our team in Te Tai Tokerau partnered with Te Iwi o Ngati Kahu. It's an example of the nation-wide effort by communities and social services to support people in need. 

Supermarket shopping during covid-19 lockdown
Kaimahi from Te Iwi o Ngati Kahu have been delivering kai to taitamariki and whānau in need throughout Te Tai Tokerau

True partnership in action

Some whānau and taitamariki (young people) involved with Oranga Tamariki couldn't get food from supermarkets during the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. This included people without access to transport in rural areas or those who are immune compromised such as kuia and kaumatua who are kaitiaki for their mokopuna.

We partnered with Te Iwi o Ngati Kahu to deliver kai throughout Te Tai Tokerau as part of existing efforts to support tamariki and whānau with intensive needs. Their Chief Executive, Dee-Ann Wolferston, says this crisis response is an example of true partnership in action.

“There was a problem that needed solving and we all rallied together to ensure our tamariki are safe and whānau have food on the table. No problem is big enough for us not to solve together.”

Dee-Ann Wolferston, Chief Executive, Te Iwi o Ngati Kahu

Kaimahi focused on solutions

Dee-Ann acknowledges the carers and kaimahi from Te Iwi o Ngati Kahu who agreed to leave their bubbles for this kaupapa.

“Their efforts meant we had extra measures in place to prevent any harm to our tamariki during lockdown. A special shout-out for our amokura (leader) Allies Evans.” 

She also celebrates the efforts of Oranga Tamariki staff, including Partnering for Outcomes Service Manager, Shona Hobson, and Advisor, Kathryn MacAskill, who were instrumental in facilitating the response.

“Shona is a problem solver who is always focused on solutions. People like her bridge the gap between Oranga Tamariki and the community.”

Keeping communities safe

Under ordinary circumstances, Oranga Tamariki workers would have delivered the kai. However, as Te Iwi o Ngati Kahu was already providing essential care for tamariki in the region during the lockdown, this process was deemed safer for the community.

“Through this partnership, we have not only supported tamariki and whānau, but it has reduced the number of people moving around the rohe including our staff,” Shona says.