26 Oct 2021

Ōrākei kaumātua on alert after postive case visits whānau

6:57 pm on 26 October 2021

An Auckland hapū is going door to door to help test residents in the suburb of Ōrākei after a positive case had visited a home in the area.

Test for coronavirus Covid-19. Female doctor or nurse doing lab analysis of a nasal swab in a hospital laboratory. Medical technologist holding a COVID-19 smear kit, wearing protective gloves from

Photo: 123RF

Last night, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei were notified that a whānau member had returned a positive case and that person visited a home on the Atareta Street papakāinga, where many kaumātua live.

The whānau of the positive case have been proactive and reached out to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust to make sure everyone in the area are aware.

Chief executive Rangimarie Hunia said the person visited one kaumātua at the papakāinga.

"The great thing is that the whānau rang us immediately once they understood what had happened and we started responding straight away," Hunia said.

The case was one of the 109 positive cases reported on Monday 25 October.

"We have been mobilising to make sure our kaumātua are safe and that the rest of the community are tested."

Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei are based in Tāmaki Makarau, and their papakāinga is in Ōrākei, about 4-5km away from the CBD. The kaumātua units are next door to the Ōrākei Marae.

"There are nine kaumātua units there and we wanted to make sure they are absolutely safe. They are surrounded by the papakāinga which has about 300 houses occupied by whānau."

Hunia said they had taken matters into their own hands rather than waiting for the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards to tell them what to do.

"We are not going to wait, we are going to act. We have the ability to stand up a whole heap of services immediately," she said.

They have dedicated teams for vaccinations and testing.

"We have been really active across Tāmaki to support the vaccination and testing activities but it's really important in a situation when our papakāinga is at risk, that we mobilise quickly and that's what we have been able to do today."

The ministry and DHB have been in contact with the positive case's whānau and have offered support to Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei.

Hunia said it's important that whānau reached out so they could provide support.

"For us, this isn't about the people who get Covid, it's about Covid. We don't victimise or place blame on anybody that might be a positive case. Rather we go the other way and ask how we can help, what do you and your whānau need from us.

"Today was a perfect example of a whānau being extremely proactive. I think that kind of leadership is what we need going forward, particularly in Tāmaki where the cases are likely to increase."

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