District’s Elders Welcome the Contact
Operation Manaaki continues this week with around 50 Council staff calling the region’s older residents to make sure they are connected and safe during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
“People think it is a very caring initiative and they really appreciate it,” says Council’s director of liveable communities Andrew White, who is one of those helping work through nearly 7000 65-plus Tairāwhiti residents.
“Knowing they have neighbour support is a really big part of why many of our pakeke are feeling safe and well looked after. Up the Coast, the food parcels from the runanganui are having a big impact on how our pakeke are feeling. Lots of people we ring are doing really well but when we make the offer around whether they would like us to ring back, they welcome it and want to be feel connected and involved.”
And it seems most are extremely well organised.
“By far the majority of the people we are ringing are really well set up with supplies and support, which is great to hear,” says Mr White.
Included in the list of council workers making those calls for Operation Manaaki are chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann and councillors Shannon Dowsing and Kerry Worsnop, among many others from across the organisation.