Eight months after our first nationwide lockdown in 2020, our whānau took a couple of days off and travelled to Te Tauihu where eight of my great grandparents are buried across Wakapuaka; Marsden Valley; Appleby; Motueka and Riuwaka. As part of that trip we walked into the beautiful Kahurangi National Park, to the Riuwaka Resurgence. The damp forest, crystal clear water, tranquil pools, and moss-covered marble rock created an idyllic place to heal.
Te Puna o Riuwaka is of particular cultural significance to Te Atiawa and Ngāti Rārua. It is a wahi tapu, a sacred, supernatural place where the tūpuna would come to cleanse and heal their bodies and sustain their spirits.
At the start of the trail to the puna, the information board says:
I have been thinking about that beautiful puna as the nation’s attention this week has been drawn to Motueka in the sudden outbreak of Omicron.
At the time of writing there are 16 confirmed cases and one probable case in the region, across three households.
More than 2100 people across Nelson and Marlborough have been tested for the virus since the first case was announced. On Tuesday, 2423 vaccinations were administered across Nelson Marlborough – 1909 adult doses and 378 paediatric doses. The region has also reached 90 percent partially vaccinated and 85 percent fully vaccinated for Māori.
If ever there was a time that we need to be restored to full health; to keep our whānau close; and to maintain the basic health practices that will protect us, it is now.
Of course our thoughts are not just with whānau in Motueka. There are now active cases being treated as Omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Palmerston North, and Nelson-Tasman. What we know, too, is that the number of cases and contacts are expected to grow given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron.
This is when vigilance is required; dedication to doing all that we can to stamp this virus variant out. It was so very pleasing this week to also learn that in Canterbury 90% of Māori have now been double vaccinated.
The locations and opening hours of all testing centres can be found on the Healthpoint website, and details of the Nelson-Tasman centres are below:
Meanwhile across the bay at Waikawa, it was wonderful to see a vaccination clinic being established at Waikawa Marae with the support of the Nelson/Marlborough Primary Health Organisation.
Waikawa marae put together an off the cuff vaccination clinic for their community with the love and support from our Whānau Ora kaimahi, including Arhan Haate from Wave initiative Kōhatu Kai, Renee Love from Kōanga Kai, Navigator Tinana Yvonne Skipper and Whānau Ora Navigator Marcia MacDonald
The Kōhatu Kai truck was there supporting all the whānau. Kōhatu Kai is a whānau owned and operated business, they are a mobile hangi and catering service who serve the Wairau, Waitohi and Waikawa rohe. The Kōhatu Kai philosophy is: “Kai Māori should be accessible, affordable, and obtainable for everyone to enjoy.”