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South Island Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency Postpones Conference Due To Covid-19

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu is postponing its annual symposium which was to have taken place in Otepoti (Dunedin) at the end of this month (25 – 27 March 2020).

Around 350 people were due to attend the symposium which was being held at The Dunedin Centre.

The organisation’s Pouarahi, Helen Leahy says they have made the decision to postpone the conference due to the concerns around coronavirus.

“While the symposium is always an awesome celebration of Whanau Ora and the real difference it is making, postponing it was an easy decision for us to make as we always put the health and wellbeing of whanau first.”

“With people coming to the symposium from all over New Zealand, and overseas, we don’t want to risk being a source of Covid-19’s spread. We also want to ensure our people, particularly our Whanau Ora Navigators can remain on the ground supporting whanau to keep safe, strong and well.”

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says he supports the decision.

“Whanau Ora is about family wellness. It’s imperative that Te Putahitanga do all they can to support whanau to be well. Postponing the symposium is the right thing to do,” says Dr Pink.

Helen Leahy says Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu will be working to remind whanau of ways to build resilience in coming days.

“We’ll focus on how we can all strengthen our immune system and reinforce healthy and positive mental wellbeing. This is about keeping all our homes safe, living without fear and being self-sufficient.”

A final decision about the 2020 symposium for Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu will be made in spring.

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