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Protecting our Whakapapa - 3 April 2020

Tēnā koutou katoa.

My 'bubble' have been engaging in kōrero about all of the changes that we have all been facing.

It made me think about whānau and the need to protect our whakapapa.

What is whakapapa? everyone has their own 'translation' of this (and I encourage us to share these). I often explain it as the layering of one thing on top of another, which we refer to as our genealogy and relationships with each other, our environment and our cultural values - our mātua, our tūpuna... who we are and where we come from. We are all adapting at different levels and without changing who we are, need to think about the safe ways of doing this - the attached posters are an awesome resource :) PROTECT OURSELVES. PROTECT OUR WHĀNAU. PROTECT OUR WHAKAPAPA. Together as a whānau, in your bubble and through your phone trees or zoom catch-ups talk about it. Share with tamariki - your whakapapa, your stories, your memories and why they are unique. (This is a very cool way to keep them occupied and spending time together as well) More than that, use this time to make a plan. Answer those, what if's? What if someone is exposed to COVID-19 in our community? What if a loved one passes away? What if we can't feed or whānau or keep them warm? What are we going to do as a whānau to get through this? Who will we contact? How can we find these answers? (and you will have your own 'What if's?' too. There are so many different avenues for support at the moment and finding the right one for you and your whānau now is going to help so much more later... and you will be more prepared for what is coming. From our own history with the influenza epidemic in 1917 - in times of crisis we find strength and unity, and pull together to support and tautoko one another. If you don't need something right now - let someone else access that now but let the service or your support network know it is a essential need for you in the coming weeks. As Māori we are at a higher risk because we have larger multigenerational whānau who often live together and right now are probably sharing the same bubble. We also have higher rates of illness and asthma which makes us even more vulnerable at this time. So we must takecare! I guess after this whole spiel my message really just is: Stay connected. Be prepared. Adapt. Stay home whānau, restrict your movements, and do your bit to help yourself, your whānau and the future of our people. Arohatinonui xx


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