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Te Whanau a Apanui release conditions for holiday makers this summer

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

With COVID-19 now present in the Bay of Plenty, the Government opening regional borders and loosening restrictions and summer holidays around the corner, the Te Whanau a Apanui COVID-19 Iwi Response Unit (IRU) have set conditions in place over the summer period to ensure the safety of our people at home but also to ensure we can safely receive our whānau who are coming home for the holidays.

"We are asking for holiday makers, those who do not whakapapa to Te Whānau a Apanui to refrain from entering our tribal territories this summer. Please respect the vulnerabilities of our iwi at this time" said Rawiri Waititi, member of our Iwi IRU

"We have taonga, our pakeke living in this iwi that we can’t afford to lose. We spent weeks upon weeks physically manning our borders with very little resource to ensure our people were kept safe. This instance is no different"

"Our healthcare system is small and can currently only cater to our population living here. We just cope with the christmas rush anyway, Covid on top of this will put huge pressure on our capacity because we don’t have the facilities or the system to cater to anyone outside of our own patients who tests positive" said Dr Rachel Thomson, Health Lead to our IRU

"We also acknowledge how difficult it has been for our whānau away from home living in lockdown and many of you will be excited to get home for the holidays. We want to receive our whānau back into the iwi with open arms. That being said, we need to ensure that you are safe when you enter the iwi and that our people at home are safe too" said Dr Thomson.

"Please get a negative test prior to coming home. We are only a small healthcare centre and will find it difficult to cope if everyone comes home to get tested. We are asking our whānau at home to be responsible for ensuring that your whānau coming home are producing negative tests."

"We are also encouraging all local businesses to request vaccination certificates and a recent negative test and we are asking everyone to reconsider planned weddings and events" said Councillor Louis Rāpihana

"We are now in the fight of our lives. Our Iwi stood up in solidarity to keep COVID out of our rohe. We didn’t bat an eyelid and we made it happen.

"We have done all that we can to protect our iwi and now we are asking you to do your bit and be mindful about our vulnerable whānau living here. Wēnei korero katoa ka tuku i runga i te ngākau aroha, i runga i te ngākau taptatahi, mō te oranga o te iwi".

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