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Te tautoko o Te Rarawa i ngā hunga e pāngia e te ahi i te Gumfields  

- Te Rarawa supporting those impacted by the Gumfields’ fire  

Photo (left to right): Tui Te Paa - Roma Marae, Hoddy Murray - CEO of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa, Mike Te Wake - Pou Ahurea of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa, Dion Harrison of Te Rarawa owned Bells Produce, Anna Lee Hill - Kaiwhakarite of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa collecting kai for Roma Marae and Te Rarawa Rugby Club.

At approximately 5.45pm, Tuesday, 29 December, a fire started up on the Gumfields, Ahipara.  Whānau and manuhiri were shortly after evacuated from the Ahipara area including Reef View and Whāro Way. 

“As with any national disaster, pandemic or emergency our Te Rarawa whānau are at the heart of the response,” says Hoddy Murray, CEO of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa.  “We mihi to our whānau at the Te Rarawa Rugby Club - Jaqi Brown and Joe Herbert and others who were quick to manaaki the fire rescue crew, civil defence and manuhiri who have been evacuated.  Tui Te Paa of Roma Marae who opened their doors for whānau and manuhiri providing shelter and kai for approximately 70 people.  Benjai Te Maru Gregory of Te Rarawa Marae who opened early hours of this morning too, ngā mihi!  Thanks to all our locals who took whānau in.  Final mihi to Te Rarawa owned Bells Produce and Dion Harrison for opening their doors after hours to provide for their whānau”. 

“Emergencies like tonight highlight the strength and unity of our people to support each other in times of great need,” says Hoddy Murray, CEO of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa.  “We thank the tireless effort and work of the Fire and Emergency crew (our local heroes), with the support of Civil Defence and the contributions of the Salvation Army.” 

Photo: Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa CEO Hoddy Murray and Pou Ahurea, Mike Te Wake organising kai and responding to media requests with the six firefighting helicopters in the background.

According to the Fire and Emergency New Zealand, by 9pm the fire had burnt through approximately an area of one kilometre by one kilometre.  Six helicopters worked on the fire until last light, work to contain the fire continues at first light.