Covid-19 Te Rarawa Response

At Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa we’re mindful of the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on our whānau, marae, hapū and communities. This virus is unprecedented. Our moko and koko are highest priority.

The situation is fast moving and fluid. It’s sensible to look at what’s happened in the worst affected countries and take precautions to minimise effects of the virus on our communities. We’re asking everyone to do all they can to reduce infection rates. Please prepare but do not panic.

Here’s some advice for coping with the threat including latest information from

1. Symptoms
If you or your whanau have any of the following symptoms, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 immediately:

- Cough
- High temperature (at least 38°C)
- Shortness of breath

Having these symptoms doesn’t mean you have the virus, but if you do display these signs please self-isolate by staying at home.

2. Prevention
Preventing the spread is the best thing we can do.

Personal hygiene is critical to prevention:

- Hand hygiene
* Wash hands thoroughly; using soap and water is best
* Use hand sanitiser or antiseptic wipes when necessary
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze into your arm or use tissues
- Keep physical distance (2-3m)
- Clean and disinfect ‘high touch’ surfaces such as doorknobs and tabletops frequently.

3. How COVID-19 spreads

COVID-19, like the flu, can be spread from person to person. When a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or talks, they may spread droplets containing the virus a short distance, which quickly settle on surrounding surfaces

You may get infected by the virus if you touch those surfaces or objects and then your mouth, nose or eyes.

That’s why it’s important to use good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands and use good cough etiquette.

4. Preventing the spread

 - Stay home if you feel unwell before and especially during isolation
- Practice personal hygiene as outlined
- Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately
- Avoid close contact
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
- Avoid personal contact such as kissing, sharing cups or bottles
- Good nutrition and rest assists with resilience to infection


5. Tikanga Whakaritenga

It’s for each marae and hapū to decide and uphold their own tikanga. Koroheke and kuia may choose to suspend selected parts of tikanga. Temporary suspension of tikanga has happened with previous pandemics

Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa kaimahi have adopted a ‘personal rāhui’ tikanga, especially in the workplace during hui, powhiri etc. This means refraining from:

- Hongi
- Kihikihi
- Hariru
- Awhiawhi

6. Recommendations for whānau gatherings: Hura Kohatu, Tangi, Marena and other events. All gatherings suspended at Level 4. 

- If whānau members are unwell, they should stay at home


- Marae may close or suspend usual tikanga or kawa
- Kaikorero should mention these tikanga changes during mihimihi
- We recommend serious consideration to placing rāhui on harirū, hongi and kihikihi. This helps prevent the spread
- At tangihanga, you may wish to consider a closed casket
- Per Ministry of Health advice, if you’re unable to use sanitisers, wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more. To conserve water, turn tap off while scrubbing hands
- Disinfect all surfaces regularly.

The Prime Minister gave notice about large gatherings, involving more than 100 people and the 4 Level Alert System. We recommend large hui be postponed as a precaution at Level 2.

7. Some ideas worth discussing with whānau, marae, koroheke, kuia and nga Minita o nga Hahi:

- Keep hand sanitiser and water at gateways to marae, churches and urupa
- Place pānui at the gate or in marae about tikanga of hongi, kihi, awhiawhi
- Place pānui at the gate or inside marae notifying if having a closed casket
- If you reside in Northland, the Northland District Health Board is establishing an Incident Management Team (IMT) and 8 Community Based Testing Centres.


 8. Ngā tiakitanga mo te oranga o te whanau

You and many of your whānau may feel stressed. It’s normal to feel this way in a situation like this. Here are some suggestions to help you through:

- Take care of basic needs and ensure sufficient rest and respite
- Eat healthy food and engage in physical activity
- Stay in touch with family and friends by phone and online
- Limit use of public transport, airports and other areas of high risk to essential travel only. No travel during lock down
- Consider the steady stockpiling of dry rations i.e. rice, salt, sugar, flour, tea
- It’s easy to get caught up in the constant stream of news reports. Seek updates once or twice a day from trusted sources
- Have Paracetamol on hand in case you need it
- Consider having influenza injections when they become available.

Managing your stress and emotional wellbeing during this time is as important as managing your physical health.

This is likely to be a marathon - pace yourself and your whānau.