The ‘flexible’ South Waiko community stays together during the lockdown.

People in South Waiko say their narrow-minded community helped them through the lockdown and will continue to do so at uncertain times.

Akira Henry, Chief Executive of South Waikato Pacific Island Community Services.

Akari Henry, Chief Executive of South Waiko Pacific Island Community Services.
Image: RNZ / Andrew Macri

The district went on alert level 2 with the rest of the country except Auckland on Wednesday.

Tokorova became a point of interest at one point when a man with a Delta variant of the Cove 19 stopped on his way from Auckland to Wellington to buy gasoline in the city.

The South Waikato District is home to about 25,000 people: 35% Maori, 12% Pasifa and 68% European.

All groups are working on testing and vaccinating Covid 19 and helping those in need during the lockdown.

Akari Henry, chief executive of South Waiko Pacific Island Community Services, oversees vaccinations at the local sports and rack center.

He was convinced that the community had responded well to the lockdown.

“Some of our communities are still challenged and pressured and don’t necessarily have to be the result of a lockdown or a coup. It’s a life sometimes they have to deal with before, so we know we still have There are community areas that we want to reach even more. “

He said his return to Level 2 provided a better opportunity for his organization to help families in need.

“One of the things we keep in mind is the growing level of anxiety in our community. Some choices are taken away. I know myself. Experiences of working with our families show that mental health is a major issue. “

Pacific Island Community Services is working with local iwi, Ngāti Raukawa.

Rokawa Charitable Trust Tamu Vakare Maria T. Kanawa said lessons were learned from last year’s lockdown.

“Coordination and cooperation was very easy at the time, so although the effects are still disturbing and relevant, it didn’t really throw anything that surprised or amazed us.”

T. Kanawa said Kamatwa is still worried at Level 2.

“A lot of them didn’t come out of the lockdown or out of their homes until they were well and truly level 1, so they still have to get out and come back to the public. There is a lot of concern about, but they will like, because they like this social element, but it is a health risk that makes them stay at home. “

Maria T. Kanawa, Tamu Wakare (General Manager) Raukawa Charitable Trust.

Maria T. Kinawa.
Image: RNZ / Andrew Macri

He said that the effects of Covid 19 and lockdown have been felt long before the actual period of lockdown.

“For the Maori and Pacific Islands in particular, employment, Wanao income, any hindrance to color education, really has a lasting effect on Wanao and it takes us longer to recover from it.”

Larry Morrissey has run a men’s clothing store in Tokorova for 40 years.

He said Lockdown 3 and 4 were difficult to keep up with the business with just a few online sales.

“Doing some raw Facebook deals every day and trying to get just a little bit of cash and I deliver in the letterbox every night.”

Retailers in the city worked together to promote the business and encourage people to buy locally, he said.

Morrissey said the lack of population in a small town is a problem.

He said he was strict about hiring his staff during the lockdown.

We needed staff on board and they are all experienced and we hired them and made sure they were taken care of.

Lawyer and District Councilor Arma Ngapo said the multicultural community is always together when needed.

“Since we are on State Highway One, we have a lot of traffic going through our communities to make quad testing important and we need to get our vaccinations. [rates] at most.

“South Waiko is a very flexible community,” he said.

Armangpo, lawyer and district councilor.

ارما نگاپو
Image: RNZ / Andrew Macri

“We have the same problems as every other community in New Zealand, but we are positive that we will come out of it and come out stronger because we are always together.”

South Waikiki Mayor Jenny Schetak said the lockdown was tough, but she believes most of her community has competed well.

She was worried about some businesses in Tokorova.

“I think this time there could be some unfortunate loss of life. Last time I knew about the lockdown, some businesses put their personal money into their business so they could move on,” he said.

He said businesses rallied and launched a local shop campaign with a ڈالر 10,000 prize, which continued some shops and revived life in the city during the lockdown.

South Waikiki Mayor Jenny Shetak.

South Waikato Mayor Jenny Shetak.
Image: RNZ / Andrew Macri

Shetak was pleased with the number of local people getting vaccinated and encouraged them to take whatever was not available.

“We as a community have to be extra vigilant at times like these and I’m glad people under Level 2 are out and about wearing masks.”

A new community vaccination center opened in central Tokorova on Monday.


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