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All Over 65s in Tairāwhiti to be Called

1 Apr 2020

All Over 65s in Tairāwhiti to be Called

Operation Manaaki is underway by Gisborne District Council to ensure the elderly of Tairāwhiti are both cared for and connected during the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown.

Calls will begin today (Wednesday) to the 7000 people in the region who are over 65 years of age. Single people over 70 will be the first to be called, followed by couples over 70 and then the 65-pluses.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says she is extremely proud her team is stepping in to help some of the region’s most vulnerable people.

“These are our grandparents and parents and we need to make sure they can be well cared for during this time,” she said. “This is absolutely the right thing for us to do.”

Group controller Dave Wilson says some people may well be called multiple times by different organisations from across Tairāwhiti. “We care, and would rather someone received a couple of calls than none at all,” said Mr Wilson. “We want to make sure older New Zealanders have all the essentials they need to get through this difficult period with COVID-19 and that they know where to go if they need some help.”

Any identified issues will be coordinated and addressed through the ECC and the appropriate assistance given.

Those making the calls are all Council employees and will ask a few questions around wellbeing, how people are coping and whether they have support.

“Council staff will not be asking for private information at all, more around what assistance people require to get through,” says Ms Thatcher Swann.