18th March 2020


Tēnā koutou

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to spread globally and the possibility for it to spread within Aotearoa, we have been working through our responsibilities as an organisation to ensure we do our best to mitigate further impacts.

Although the MOH do not currently recommend the cancellation of events, Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trustees have reviewed upcoming events in consideration of the current COVID-19 risks and have decided to take steps to minimise risk to whānau and the community.


AGM Postponed

  • Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trustees are taking the responsible decision to postpone the April 25th AGM that was set to take place at Whakatū Marae. We will pānui out information about the new AGM date and details once this is available.
  • The Election of 2 Rohe Trustees has been confirmed by Election Services and is included in the public notices that whānau will receive.  Margie Little and Fred Te Miha were re-elected unopposed as Rohe Trustees.


Whānau Wānanga Cancelled

  • The Boards priority is the health and wellbeing of our whānau and community, and with the postponement of our AGM, it is also appropriate to cancel our planned whānau wānanga activities. We will assess options to hold the wānanga at another time.


Our Approach

Our priority is to be prepared to ensure we protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and whānau, with a particular focus on protecting those of our whānau members who are most vulnerable to severe illness including pāhake.

While the MoH/WHO advice continues to state that our chance of a widespread community outbreak remains low, we encourage whānau to stay informed of guidelines set in place by MOH and take care of yourself and your whānau.


Protect Yourself and Others

Protect yourself and others to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 as per the MoH guidelines:

  • Mēnā ka māuiui koe, herea ki te kāinga. Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Do notcome into contact with others if you feel unwell or are showing ‘flu’ like symptoms.
  • Mahia te Hopi. Horoi ō ringa. Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
  • Whakamātihetihe te ihu ki te tuke. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Rauatu te aikiha ki te ipupara. Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Mēnā ka paru ō ringa, kaua e pā te kānohi. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Whakapūputu ai te patuero I ngā mea katoa. Hei tauira: Ngā kakau, ngā papa, ngā taputapu. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.

The advice above is particularly to help us look after our most vulnerable such as pāhake and those compromised or with other health issues (eg cardiovascular disease, diabetes or hypertension).   We need to special take care of them regarding COVID-19.   Please seriously consider ensuring they get the annual influenza vaccine as the last thing we want is for them to get both the flu and COVID-19.


For whānau who do not qualify for a FREE flu-shot; please contact us at the office so that we can assist you with costs if required.


Potential COVID-19 Exposure / Isolation Requirements 

In the event you are sick or believe you may have been closely exposed to others who may have COVID-19, stay home and contact the free Healthline 0800 358 5453 to ensure yourself and others are kept safe.

  • The symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
  • If you need to call emergency services, please let them know you are in self-isolation.
  • For all non-health related questions, call 0800 Government (0800 779 997).

Vulnerable Members of the Whānau 

  • We strongly encourage whānau to look after our pāhake by checking on them providing help while minimising physical contact (e.g. dropping kai off at the front door).
  • In the event you or a whānau member residing with you are particularly vulnerable (e.g., underlying health issue, compromised immune system), you can check the MOH website to check additional precautionary measures you may wish to implement.

 Social Distancing / Physical Contact

  • Physical contact has been identified by the MoH as having the potential to increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 and recommend any unnecessary contact should be avoided if possible.
  • Reduce close contact with others.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people



  • Culturally for Ngāti Tama, restricting hongi is a significant step to take and not taken lightly.  However, it does and can happen for very practical reasons e.g. the wellbeing of people. The purpose of hongi is to be of one breath and be of one mind. While this tends to happen through a physical connection, the feeling is often more of a spiritual connection. In saying that, a spiritual connection can be felt without physical contact.
  • Considering this, we support MoH’s advice to limit any unnecessary close physical contact.  Therefore, we will place an immediate hold on our cultural practice of hongi, including personal contact, such as handshaking, kissing, hugging and sharing cups or food.



For those who sadly have tangihanga, the government is asking whānau to consider what variations to tikanga and kawa can be made to ensure manaaki tāngata for all who attend.  For example:

  • What are alternatives to physical attendance? Can you utilise technology that allows social connection without physical connection?
  • Consider sending whānau representatives, who go on behalf of the wider whānau, and especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, such as pāhake and unwell whānau
  • If you are attending, please give advance notice to the haukāinga at the marae so they know who will be attending and can prepare for your arrival
  • As haukāinga, make sure you have sufficient cleaning products and practice and promote hand hygiene
  • If you are sick, please do not attend and please do not prepare or handle food intended for the tangi

Ngāti Tama Office

  • We are also taking steps to protect our staff, Trustees and Directors at this time and all members of the Ngāti Tama office team will be equipped to work from home, if required. However, we will attempt to ensure that there is always a member of staff on-site during normal office hours should whānau need to be in contact with us for any reason.


This is an important time for all of us to keep up communication.

Ngā manaakitanga ki runga i a tātou – please take care of yourselves and each other.