Staff at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Waiu o Ngāti Porou, from tiny Ruatōria on the East Coast, are supplying protective gear to frontline health workers fighting Covid-19 in their rohe.
A small team led by digital technology teacher Ruth Heeney and Tumuaki Phil Heeney have supplied 30 litres of hand sanitiser and 19 plastic head shields to local health authorities including Te Puia Springs Hospital and the Ruatoria Health Clinic.
Some supplies have also been delivered to volunteers running iwi-led checkpoints.
- If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre
Heeney said the kura stocked up on sanitizer ingredients such as isopropyl, aloe vera, and lavender scent when the country was transtioning into Alert Level 4.
"Leading into the lockdown it became apparent to us that there was going to be an issue with hand sanitiser in Ruatoria, so we pre-ordered ingredients anticipating a shortage," he said.
"When the lockdown came, we were talking to health professionals in our local area and they actually didn't have much of a supply of hand sanitizers so there was a fair bit of concern for the front-line staff who were working with sick people.
"We went into production time straight away, to satisfy their needs."
The kura has made plastic hand sanitizer bottles and head shields from a 3D printer in the chemistry room, which has now been taken to the technology teacher's home for further production.
Heeney said it had been a hugely rewarding task helping out the local community.
"We're a very small community and everyone is making contributions in any manner in which they are capable of doing so.
"It's actually been very satisfying to make a contribution of sorts - as others are in their respective fields - and further to that we've had offers of help from others around the country, not just on the hand sanitiser but also on the face shields."
"There's some really kind people who have offered their assistance, offered their expertise, and offered their machinery to assist us."
Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:
- See all RNZ Covid-19 news
- A timeline: How the coronavirus started, spread and stalled life in New Zealand
- Covid-19 symptoms: What they are and how they make you feel
- Touching your Face: Why do we do it and how to stop
- Scientific hand-washing advice to avoid infection
- Coronavirus: A glossary of terms
- The Coronavirus Podcast