Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Continued vigilance to keep kaumātua safe

Continued vigilance to keep kaumātua safe as alert levels drop

Rauawaawa staff members Rachael Owen and Donna Tilyard-Davies prepare kai packs for kaumatua during Covid-19 lockdown.

Hamilton’s Rauawawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust (Rauawaawa) will continue their new ‘Covid world’ way of supporting kaumatua until Alert Level 1 because of how vulnerable elderly are to the virus and some are anxious about leaving their bubble too early.

Rauawaawa CEO Rangimahora Reddy says it is vital her team can keep providing services in a way that prevents health risks to the 600 plus kaumātua on their books.

“Most of our kaumātua have underlying health conditions and 80% of them are in their eighties. So, they would get extremely ill or die if they were to get COVID-19, and that reality is front of mind for us here at Rauawaawa.”

“As well as enabling them to stay safe at home and away from high risk places like supermarkets, we have provided signs for their door so that if they have a compromised immune system they can put them up as a protective measure,” she says.

The charity usually provides kaumātua with a range of culturally focussed, and accessible health, social and community-based activities and services to enhance wellbeing. But Rauawawa had to rethink how they still provide social interaction without things like events, exercise classes and community classes.

Rangimahora says initially when their usual programmes stopped, they had a ‘give us five’ campaign, to give them five weeks to keep their kaumātua safe during lockdown.

“We started off by calling our entire register of 640 kaumātua to assess their wellness and need. Kaumātua let us know they wanted to be connected, informed and entertained so we’ve been using Facebook for that and our audience has grown from 1,200 to over 1,600 in lockdown,” she says.

The team have been busy seven days a week and in the last month they have delivered just over 1000 kai packages, 400 plus humble hygiene packages, helped 60 kaumatua to get flu vaccines and created 20 Facebook videos targeted at their growing audience.

Three registered nurses have a pivotal role caring for the highest risk kaumātua - those with three or more long term conditions. Because of their clinical knowledge around infection control, they are best placed visiting kaumātua and wearing appropriate PPE to keep themselves and kaumātua safe. The nursing support service includes weekly phone triaging, home visits when necessary, and arranging GP appointments and medication for kaumātua who don’t have any support.

Regional Manager for Te Puni Kōkiri (Waikato- Waiariki) Rachel Jones says the existing relationships Māori organisations like Rauawaawa have with local kaumatua is making all the difference to the Māori pandemic response.

“I’m pleased that our contribution has gone some way to helping our kaumātua to be so well cared for by Rauawaawa during this unsettling time,” she says.

Rangimahora says the impact of their outreach has been clear from the aroha and appreciation shown by kaumātua and their whānau over messenger, texts, email and in person.

“Their appreciation when you deliver to the door is beautiful, sometimes they are nearly in tears. Some kaumātua have mobility challenges and these visits are really important to them so it is really rewarding when you see that difference we are making,” she says.

One of the challenges Rauawaawa had to overcome was staffing because their usual volunteers couldn’t help because they were in the high-risk kaumātua age group themselves.

“We managed to pull together a rangatahi team from our own whānau to not contaminate our bubbles. There was also no national COVID-19 training so our staff went through World Health Organisation online training so that everyone was on the same page and giving consistent advice to kaumātua,” she says.

Rauawawa says they made the decision with its Board to not open its doors and face to face programmes until Alert Level 1, but life in isolation has had a mixed response from kaumātua.

“Some love it and others are busting at the seams to get out. When there is only one in the whare, it is much harder. Overall though, there remains a certain level of fear amongst kaumātua that coming out at this early stage will put them at risk and we want to help keep them safe,” Rangimahora says.

Background: Te Puni Kōkiri is proud to support hapū, iwi, marae, Māori providers and organisations as they work closely with hard-to-reach and vulnerable whānau in their communities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Te Puni Kōkiri has been able to provide quick and targeted support through a $10-million Whānau Māori Community and Marae Response Fund which was part of a Government economic package for Māori. Funding has given extra help to Māori communities including those who live in remote areas, kaumātua and the homeless.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Fair Pay Agreements Should Be Embraced

Are Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) truly the work of the devil? Given the vehement response to them last week by (a) employer groups and (b) by their parliamentary friends on the extreme right, you could be forgiven for thinking these FPA things will mean curtains for commerce as we’ve known it for the past 30 years. Believe me, they won’t. Less excitable types will regard FPAs as heralding only a mild shift towards a more centralised form of bargaining over wages and conditions, much akin to what other successful economies (eg Germany) have recognised for decades... More>>


Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>


Maori Party: Whakatōhea High Court Decision

“We applaud the Whakatōhea High Court case that has now set a precedent for Māori rights and interest in their foreshore and seabed. It’s an outstanding decision because the Court recognises all reclaimed lands with significant and boating traffic” ... More>>


Judith Collins: Speech To Lower North Island Regional Conference

Good morning, delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking to you all here today as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge National Party President Peter Goodfellow, my fellow board members, my lower North Island colleagues and all of ... More>>

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels