21 Mar 2020

Man who tested positive for Covid-19 could not get through to helpline for four days

9:52 pm on 21 March 2020

The first person in Taupō to test positive for Covid-19 says he was unable to get through to the Ministry of Health helpline for four days.

Close up of a man using mobile smart phone

Te Mahau Kingi posted on social media that he could not get through to the Ministry of Health's Covid-19 helpline for four days (file picture). Photo: 123rf

Tūwharetoa Trust Board has confirmed one of its staff members, Te Mahau Kingi, tested positive for the virus after returning to Auckland from London via Dubai on 12 March.

He then flew to Taupō on 14 March, self-isolated and was tested on Tuesday.

His results came back positive on Friday evening.

On social media earlier in the week, Te Mahau Kingi, posted about the Ministry of Health saying he was unable to get through to its Covid-19 helpline for four days.

He took to Twitter to ask the ministry to return his calls - however he was not contacted and eventually contacted, Taupō Health Centre, instead.

"Big ups to #TaupoHealthCare for going out of their way, doing a #Coronavirus swab test" he posted.

The Tūwharetoa Trust Board's chief executive, Shane Heremaia, said it will support Mr Kingi and wants to assure the iwi and community he has been careful since being home.

"It is a very difficult time for all, and we know our people will be concerned, and that's why the trust, with the support of Mr Kingi, are making this public" Heremaia said.

Heremaia said he has not been to any of the central North Island's iwi marae or in the trust's office.

He said he hopes that the people of Taupō will support him with aroha as he recuperates.

RNZ has contacted the Ministry of Health for comment.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)

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