Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei's social development arm Whai Māia helps 10,000 people with primary care in health, housing, aged care and a range of other social needs in Auckland.
Whai Māia CEO Rangimarie Hunia, credits the Covid 19 pandemic with being a powerful connector of the community. She says the city's Covid lockdowns have not only crystallised the iwi's view of the needs of so many people, but also how to help them more efficiently.
This includes delivering kai and kai vouchers, and online engagement with health, education and wellbeing programmes. It usually takes 11 months for the iwi to allocate $1 million worth of educational grants, but due to the flurry of connection through Covid, the funds were allocated much more quickly.