Tēnā koutou e te iwi,
Last Thursday, I attended a hui where there was a presentation from Dr Steven Bridgman on the coronavirus (COVID-19). He is one of two national medical officers of health and is leading the Nelson Marlborough response to outbreaks of communicable diseases such as measles, mumps and now COVID-19. They are working hard at keeping the virus out of the region but there is a very good chance it will get into our community due to it being so contagious.
Dr Bridgman has five recommendations:
- Don’t panic or be complacent. Dr Bridgman strongly recommended getting a flu vaccination when they are available as it is one less thing to worry about.
- Follow advice. Don’t go to work if you are not well.
- Reduce the risk of transmission. It is very important to wash your hands regularly with soap and to make a conscious effort to avoid touching your face.
- Ensure there is business continuity. Businesses need to set up systems where staff can work from home if they need to isolate themselves. Reduce travel through conferencing systems are some other initiatives.
- Solidarity. One of the worst things that could happen is discrimination towards individuals or a group. This would just cause people to stop reporting that they were ill and there would be no chance of controlling the virus.
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) attended the hui and indicated that they have accelerated support for those ‘laid off’ because of the virus. This is particularly affecting those in primary industries and tourism and I am sure there are whānau affected and concerned about this. We are currently reviewing the risks associated with holding Te Tapuwaetahi o Rangitāne festival next month. We will have more on this over the next few days.
A small pilot wānanga initiated by the Mātauranga kete and funded by the Ministry of Education was held in Wairau last weekend. The kaupapa for the Mana Taiohi wānanga is to test the long term effectiveness for a group of rangatahi and their response to kōrero and cultural history that is unique to Rangitāne o Wairau. There are plans for more rangatahi wānanga in the future. I enjoyed meeting our rangatahi who attended the wānanga. They were very polite and seemed interested in my talk on how the rūnanga works.
The focus for the Trustee hui last week and the RHL/RIL hui the previous week has been the 2020-2021 budget. The Trust is mostly funded by profits made by the businesses. Developing a budget has been more difficult this year because of the impact COVID-19 has had on shares and fisheries. We are budgeting on the conservative side and will review the budget in coming months to ensure the forecasts are accurate.
It has been a real pleasure to welcome Jeremy MacLeod to the team as Pouarataki Ahurea and Kereana Norton as Kaikōkiri Kaupapa Ahurea. Thanks to funding, we are expecting a big year for Tangata Rau, Reo Kotahi, starting with a wānanga at Waimārama Marae in Heretaunga this weekend.
Finally, most of you are aware of the Te Kōwhai Pā issue. The Trustees understand there are a number of questions relating to this matter. This development is on private property and it is appropriate Heritage New Zealand, as the organisation responsible for protecting archaeological sites, conducts this investigation. The result of this investigation is imminent. Once the Trustees have considered the findings along with other submissions, they will decide the best course of action and communicate this back to the iwi as quickly as possible.
We are currently submitting on a Resource Consent application for a similar development nearby.
Mā te wā