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Thousands To Benefit From Joint Initiative To Get Food Out To 1450 Households Across The Region

There’s an impressive collaboration going on between Toitu Tairāwhiti, Gisborne District Council’s Emergency Coordination Centre and 16 iwi, hapu and community hubs to get kai (food) parcels out to 1450 households across the rohe.

The Toitu Tairāwhiti effort is the brainchild of communications operations lead Amohaere Houkamau who says the packs have been customised for Tairāwhiti iwi and will continue to be rolled out until the end of winter.

The 1450 households will receive packs designed to feed a family of four, meaning food for nearly 6000 people. One hundred and forty-six pallets were all delivered to Showgrounds Event Centre where they were unpacked and split into four rohe zones – Whangara, Uawa, Waiapu and Matakaoa; Waipiro, Te Puia and Ruatoria; Muriwai, Turanga west and Rongowhakaata; and Kaiti. 

The ECC team worked late into the night on Tuesday ensuring the first deliveries were set to head out at 5am on Wednesday morning. ECC response manager Wiremu Tamati says it has been a real team effort.

“There were plenty of things that had to line up to ensure the food was organised in readiness for distribution around Tairāwhiti,” said Wiremu. “I am hugely proud of our team who have all worked long and hard to make sure everything was ready to go.” 

The ECC will continue to assist iwi partners, agencies and community groups over the coming weeks.

The Toitu Tairāwhiti combined effort comes on the back of Council’s Civil Defence Emergency Management staff having delivered essential household items to more than 2000 pakeke (elderly), parents and children from all over the district who have been referred by agencies or called Council’s 0800 number for assistance. These packs are provided by the National Emergency Management Centre.

ECC's logistics manager Phil Nickerson (left) and response manager Wiremu Tamati with a small part of the food consignment being sorted and sent out to thousands around the region as part of a collaborative initiative.

Feedback to ECC about the kai parcels delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic response has been hugely positive with many saying the items they have received in their packs were well thought-out and provided much-needed relief for them and whānau.

Anyone who may need assistance or would like to refer those who are vulnerable can contact Council on 0800 653 800.

© Scoop Media

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