The purpose of this digest has been to disseminate information to the iwi collective, which can be further circulated to your iwi members, whānau and communities. The information is a collation of different news items and important intel received through several channels in a compact bulletin.
Our goal is to feature as many Taitokerau-specific kaupapa and news that will be valued by our readers. In addition, we feature newsworthy kaupapa from beyond our rohe to showcase what other iwi are doing, and suggest some further actions that the collective might regard as important issues to follow up.
If you have any feedback, kōrero or suggestions of improvement to share please feel free to let us know via the survey form at the bottom of the page.
Severe weather having impact on access for patients and staff, esp Far North/Hokianga
Nationally COVID cases are slowing/plateauing
Death rates have been steadily increasing in the past month, consistent with increasing case numbers in the elderly. Maori have 1.7 times higher risk of death than European/Other (Pacific Peoples 2.8 times higher risk). High deprivation and co-morbidities are strongly associated with increased mortality risk.
Vaccination remains a strong protective measure: Non vaxxed people have 6 times the risk of death as vaxxed, if you are <60yrs this is even higher (13.6 times the risk of death compared with non-vaxxed)
In Taitokerau, cases have levelled off; but hospitalisations (especially of elderly) have shot up - and will continue to be a concern for the coming couple of weeks. Hospital staffing has many gaps.
Vaccinations have dropped off, especially for Māori. There is a 20% difference in coverage for 18+years boosters, for example (55% for Māori, 75% for NM). Only 30% of tamariki have had two doses of COVID vaccine (47% for NM).
KEY MESSAGES FOR WHANAU:
Get vaccinated/boosted if you have not already…VACCINATION WILL PROTECT YOU AGAINST SEVERE ILLNESS (AND DEATH)
Test regularly if you have symptoms, and before going to hui/tangi/marae events or visiting whanau who have chronic conditions or who are immunosuppressed. RATS (rapid tests) are available FREE at community collection points or via iwi/Māori health providers.
Stay home if you are ill – don’t spread the bugs!
TAITOKERAU FACING SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY SPREAD OF COVID
Te Whatu Ora Health NZ Te Tai Tokerau is reminding Northlanders Covid remains an issue and is urging people to take advantage of vaccination clinics and get immunised this week. There is significant community spread of the virus in Northland, with more than 200 new cases reported each day last week. Covid cases have recently jumped as the borders opened and New Zealanders returned home from overseas holidays. "This is a reminder that Covid remains an issue in our community and people should remain vigilant," Te Whatu Ora Health NZ Te Tai Tokerau said.
MOKOPUNA HEALTH - MENINGITIS AWARENESS
People in Northland are reminded to take steps to keep well this winter and be alert to symptoms following four cases of meningococcal in the region in the past four weeks. For more information click here
NEW PODCAST EXPLORES MĀORI EXPERIENCE DURING COVID PANDEMIC
Explore the experiences of Māori in Aotearoa during the global pandemic in this new podcast series. Journey with whānau who have navigated through the highs and lows, and how they were able to make the brave decision of whether or not to vaccinate their tamariki (their children) against the virus. Listen on your favourite podcast platform, YouTube or head to www.whakatau.nz
AOTEAROA WHĀNUI PAY TRIBUTE TO PASSING OF TAITOKERAU HOUSING ADVOCATE RICKY HOUGHTON
Tributes are flowing from across the motu for staunch housing and community advocate, and revered leader from the Far North, Ricky Houghton. The 62-year-old died in the early hours of Monday surrounded by his whānau in Auckland. Houghton was known to work tirelessly for his community in improving the quality of life for whānau Māori. He led He Korowai Trust which provided a range of services from emergency to transitional housing to a trades training academy for youth and restorative justice. The trust also provided programmes for affordable home ownership, an early childhood centre, a social growth and economic innovation hub, and a safe home for men as an alternative to prison. He is being described as a staunch and passionate advocate for communities and a leader who sought and gained effective solutions for whānau.
He won the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero Award in recognition of his dedication to improving the quality of life for whānau in the Far North. His work spans over a number of years where he managed to save more than 550 homes from mortgagee sales, keeping more than 6000 people housed. More here
TE HIKU MEDIA LAUNCHES 'RONGO' APP TO EASE WHAKAMĀ OF PRONUNCIATION FOR WHĀNAU LEARNING TE REO
Te Hiku Media are proud to announce the launch of 'Rongo' an app designed to support people to improve their pronunciation of te reo Māori and build their confidence speaking te reo Māori. Read more here
ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND TANGATA WHENUA CRITICISE PM'S GIFT TO JOE BIDEN
The origins of a swamp kauri bowl gifted to the US President are causing controversy in Te Tai Tokerau - with one environmentalist calling the present an "appalling" mistake.Mana whenua are also frustrated they were kept out of the loop. The Prime Minister gave the bowl to Joe Biden on her recent visit to Washington.Her office has confirmed the wood came from businessman Nelson Parker.
But the chair of the Northland Environmental Protection Society Fiona Furrell told RNZ that was a "faux pas".A Ministry for Primary Industries report provided to RNZ shows Parker was investigated in 2019. It found he likely contravened the Forests Act, exporting swamp kauri to China and calling it artwork Furrell said the Prime Minister's office needed to do more "investigating" when buying gifts for world-famous people, and had shown "a lack of care.To us swamp kauri, of all things for a gift to America, is really not on. It's shocking after all the work we've gone through to try and protect these wetlands that produce the swamp kauri."
Nelson Parker confirmed the wood came from farmland in the Kai Iwi Lakes area where Te Roroa are mana whenua. In a statement, the iwi's development group general manager Snow Tane said: "Te Roroa had no knowledge that a bowl from our rohe had been gifted to the POTUS. The Prime Minister's office should have considered acknowledging mana whenua." He said Te Roroa had witnessed "desecration" of swamplands for valuable timber. "These taonga have now moved beyond us, and a lot of people have made a lot of profit from them. Past governments, and the current government, had not prioritised protecting swamp kauri remnants." Read more here
NGĀTIWAI LAUNCH NEW ONLINE MERCH STORE
Ngātiwai are excited to have launched their newmerchandise online store, providing iwi-branded clothing and other gear for everyone to wear proudly! Check out the Marae branded masks, hoodies and tees with heaps more gear to come soon. Click here to check out the new range!
KI TE AO
EQC CHANGE THEIR NAME TO BETTER REPRESENT THEIR ROLE IN SUPPORTING AOTEAROA THROUGH NATURAL HAZARDS
EQC, the Earthquake Commission has changed its name to “to better represent the role it plays in supporting New Zealanders.” A spokesperson for the organisation said the name change came about following Dame Silvia Cartwright’s report of the public inquiry into the Earthquake Commission. The Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission and Cabinet accepted the Report’s recommendation, agreeing to change our name and choosing Toka Tū Ake Natural Hazards Commission.” The lead cultural advisor was Darryl Roycroft (Ngati Kahu, Ngapuhi o Whangaroa, Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa), supported by Anthony Tipene-Matua (Rangitane, Kahungunu, Kai Tahu) and further input was provided by a Māori expert panel with five members. Toka Tū Ake – the foundation from which we stand strong, together – acknowledges that we live in a country at high risk of natural hazards and our scheme provides the solid foundation that helps our nation prepare for and recover from natural hazards.” More here
NEW TPK BUSINESS REPORT HIGHLIGHTS GROWING MĀORI ECONOMY & INCREASING NUMBER OF WAHINE MĀORI IN BIZ
The Māori economy is currently worth $70 billion and with it steadily growing at 5 percent per annum, it's expected to reach $100 billion in assets by 2030. A new report by Te Puni Kōkiri shows an emerging factor in that growth is the increasing number of Māori women now owning their own businesses. Watch more here Click here to read Te Matapaeroa report
MĀORI DESIGN STUDIO CREATED TO DEVELOP UNIQUELY AOTEAROA PRODUCTS FOR KŌHUNGAHUNGA
A Māori design specialist and a Pākehā design engineer have put their skills together in a design studio called Paku aimed at creating uniquely Aotearoa products. Paku combines mātauranga Māori with the latest technologies to reimagine objects in a bicultural way.
Dr Johnson Witehira (Ngāti Hinekura, Ngāi Tuteauru and James Prier had known each other since high school but had gone their own ways in different disciplines, Witehira in graphic design and gaining a PhD while Prier became a design engineer. Read more here
ALL OF GOVERNMENT
YOUTH PARLIAMENT WRAP UP
The official Youth Parliament wrapped up last week guaranteeing one youth member for every MP but, to give more rangatahi Māori an experience of Parliament, another wānanga was held, giving 40 more rangatahi Māori an opportunity to get to know more and understand how politics and the New Zealand Parliament system works. Aukaha Dixon attended the wānanga in the lea up to the Youth Parliament this week. An issue he says is key for the rangatahi in his area of Te Waiariki is the mental health implications and flow-on effects on rangatahi from being in lockdown. They’re here at Parliament at the invitation of Te Pāti Māori in the lead-up to the Youth Parliament because. with only one youth representative per MP, Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngārewa Packer says the aim was to give even more rangatahi an experience of Parliament. Read article here
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