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Ministry of Social Development updates
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COVID-19 Response Update - New locations of interest, when to get tested, and clarification on tangihanga
21 August 2021
Rere atu taku manu, kawea aku whakaaro nui ki ngā whānau katoa o te motu, tēnā rā koutou katoa.
We are in the fourth day of our nationwide lock-down and I want to acknowledge everyone for the mahi you’ve done so far to keep our communities safe. The amount of whānau getting tested and vaccinated highlights just how seriously we’re taking this latest outbreak, nā reira me mihi ka tika.
I also want to thank our frontline staff who have been working around the clock to protect our whānau – tēnā koutou katoa.
At the 1pm stand-up, we heard there are 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the community today. This brings the total number of cases associated with the Tāmaki Makaurau community outbreak to 51.
Of the 21 new cases, 18 are in Tāmaki Makaurau and three are in Pōneke. This brings the total number of cases in Pōneke to six.
Public health officials are currently conducting interviews to establish how the new cases were infected and to determine further details of their movements. We will continue to release this information as it becomes available.
Wellington locations of interest now live – keep checking
- Wellington locations of interest have now been added to the Ministry of Health website.
- We’ve also added a map to help whānau identify where they’ve been.
- Please encourage your whānau and friends to review the locations of interest which are updated regularly.
- If you have been at any of these locations of interest during the relevant time, please self-isolate and call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on what to do next.
- It is likely you will need more than one test, so you must continue to isolate until you have spoken to Healthline. They will advise you and your household members on what you need to do. Please follow their advice to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Additionally, if you live in the same whare as someone who has been at a location of interest, please isolate at home until they receive a negative test – you don’t need to be tested unless you are asked.
When to get tested and/or call Healthline
- As testing numbers continue to increase, it is critically important we ensure whānau who need to get tested can do so without difficulty or delay.
- This means only going to get tested or calling Healthline for advice on getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms, have been at one of the locations of interest during the relevant time, or have been identified as a contact.
- If you are not included in one of those groups then you do not need to be tested, and you do not need to call Healthline. Your best protection, right now, is to stay at home.
- While it is encouraging to see so many of our whānau mobilising for testing, there are too many people showing up for testing and calling Healthline who do not need to – this causes unnecessary delays and makes it much more difficult for us to circle the virus, lock it down, and stamp it out.
- If you have general COVID-19 inquiries, visit the Unite Against COVID or Ministry of Health websites. If you have general health inquiries, please call your GP or health provider.
Tangihanga are not permitted at Alert Level 4
- I’ve heard there is some confusion around tangihanga guidelines at Alert Level 4 and what these mean for whānau.
- As was the case last year, gathering for funerals and tangihanga is not permitted at Alert Level 4. Additionally, whānau and friends are unable to go to the funeral home for viewing, karakia, poroporoaki, or mihi.
- Funeral directors will continue working during Alert Level 4. They will be able to guide you on the best options for your situation, which may include:
- livestreaming services on social media, or videoing them for later viewing
- holding the funeral or tangi after the Alert Level 4 restrictions ease
- holding a memorial service later, when restrictions on gatherings are lifted and it is safe to do so.
- I acknowledge this time will be challenging for many of our whânau. If you ever feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support, you can call or text 1737. It is free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to talk with a trained counsellor.
- A simplified version of our current tangihanga guidelines for whānau will be made available on the Ministry of Health website soon to ensure the rules and processes are easily understood and accessible for all our whānau.
COVID-19 vaccinations continue across the motu
- Yesterday, we administered our biggest daily total to date – 56,843 doses. This was made up of 37,107 first doses, and 19,736 second doses.
- Almost 2.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date (to 11.59pm on 20 August).
- Just under 150,000 Māori have received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 90,000 have also had their second vaccinations.
- I want to encourage eligible whānau to book in for their vaccinations as soon as possible, and to also book in their tamariki aged 12-15.
- If you have an existing booking and plan to take your tamariki with you, please contact the provider you booked your vaccination with to ensure they have enough vaccines and space to accommodate your whānau.
- With vaccination sites operating under Alert Level 4 conditions, capacity will be reduced due to physical distancing requirements or kaimahi numbers reducing due to the increased need across COVID testing sites.
- The reduced capacity means we may need to postpone some appointments. If we need to postpone your appointment, you will be contacted by Ministry of Health, your local DHB or your Mâori health provider. If you don’t hear from anyone, please go to your appointment as scheduled.
Please remind your friends and whānau to get information on COVID-19 and the vaccine from our trusted sources – the Ministry of Health, Unite Against COVID, and Karawhiua channels.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or my team at:
Mā te Atua tātou e tiaki i runga i ngā tini āhuatanga o te wā.
Nāhaku me aku mihi aroha,
Deputy Director-General | Māori Health Directorate
Waea pūkoro: 021 578 040 | Īmēra:
Message from: Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu
18 August 2021
It has been a long time since whānau in Te Waipounamu have had the unique experience that is Alert Level 4, and we have all had to make a quick adjustment over the past 24 hours following the government’s quick and decisive response to the discovery of positive cases of COVID-19. For some whānau, this has meant a shift to working at home, and the juggle of tamariki and other household members as we try to participate in some semblance of a normal day at mahi. For others, it means continuing in their roles as essential workers, venturing out into the world so that the rest of us can access the services we need. And for others again, it means being unable to work at all and the uncertainty that comes hand in hand with industries that cannot operate under the current restrictions.
We know from experience that we are stronger together, and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is here to stand with our Whānau Ora partners, Whānau Ora entities and Whānau Ora Navigators as we look to the needs of our whānau and communities during this lockdown and beyond. I encourage you to reach out if you need any additional support, and in particular to let us know if there are any messages or requests you would like us to elevate to government, to Ministers or to the relevant agencies.
Our Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu kaimahi remain fully operational and are working from home. You can contact us via our phone line 0800 187 689 or by emailing:
Need support now?
We encourage any whānau experiencing hardship to apply to our Puna fund for emergency support. Puna can support with the cost basic needs including supermarket vouchers and support with power and data bills. Our team are working around the clock to process these applications so we can provide timely and much-needed support to whānau impacted by this lockdown.
What Alert Level 4 means for community and social services
A new COVID-19 Public Health Response Act order has been released, which details the specific requirements related to this shift to Alert Level 4. You can read the Health Order here. The key requirements for this Alert Level can be found on the Government’s COVID-19 website here.
You will see that Alert Level 4 businesses and services include:
- Social and community-based services provided to support persons to maintain critical well-being or as crisis support for people who are unsafe or homeless.
The four categories below provide a more detailed view of the types of social and community-based services that can continue to operate under Alert Level 4. As with the most recent Alert Level 3 approach, organisations are being asked to determine which category your service or activity falls into.
This differs from the previous Alert Level 4 approach where organisations had to apply to be registered as essential services.
Four categories for social and community-based services at Alert Level 4:
- Where the social service is the only way for people accessing food and other goods they need to survive (e.g., money management (but not budget advice), food banks, and other delivery of essential goods).
- A social service that provides and supports a place for someone to live (e.g., Supported Accommodation, Housing First, Residences, Bail Hostels, Night Shelters, Family Homes, remand homes, foster carers of children in state care, resettlement services for recent migrants and refugees).
- A social service that supports disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing (e.g., disability services for those with high needs or very high needs and excluding disability employment services).
- Crisis support for people who are unsafe (e.g., Funded helplines, refuges and family violence services, foster care support services, sexual violence crisis services).