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One more sleep boy.....one more hikoi 25 November 2021
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Chairman Update
We are on our last full day of MIQ at the Pullman Hotel, Tamaki Makaurau and everyone is still upbeat. Every morning we have had karakia from all our sectors, yesterday was led by Maori Tourism while this morning was Kahurangi with Te Hau Karakia.
MIQ is what everyone must experience in order to get back into the country and our stay time has been reduced from 14 days to 7, with
self-isolation for 3 days at home. Those from our delegation who can’t self-isolate will be staying here for another 3 days.
We have had 3 Covid tests while we have been here and if we count the ones we have had in Dubai that equals a total of 10 tests in the last 2.5 weeks. We have had to wear masks every time we have been out our door and haven’t had contact with any of our team except Mere & Danielle who are all in the same bubble so can get together daily. Hayden, Traci and Paddy for example have been on their own for the last 7 days. We are allowed to exercise for 20 mins each day out in the courtyard with a 20 metre walking track and this time is allocated only once per day. If you miss your booking you miss out all together!
Our Te Aratini team have been chattering like chimpanzees and ideas are fizzing and popping about how we do things in the future together. I used to be the youngest on these trips and now I’m the oldest! How did that happen so quickly??
The food has been extraordinary at the hotel. On the first day we had to order our meals for 2 days then the second day order for the rest of the week. The meals were varied and the menu diverse. But there was so much coming we were putting on 5kgs a day! When we tried to cancel our kai they doubled it. The selection has been excellent and as far as lockup house food goes, it is probably better than we expected. But wait there, people from the community and from our group have been over generous and have also ordered in
boil ups, hangi and even alcoholic drinks to thanks us for our support and contribution to the global expo. This is not just for me & Mere but the whole delegation. The manaaki has been exceptional and apart from the smoking sessions that have been allotted throughout the day and kills frustration amongst our ‘ngati nicoteeners’ – we have had to endure all together the whole hotel and MIQ system in Auckland.
Hayden Hape (Tamaki Nui a Rua), Danielle Keil, Mere and I, and Paddy Mason (Kahungunu ki Wairarapa - Wero NZ Manuka Honey)
The first morning Mere & I did 25 laps. The second morning - 30 laps, third morning - 35 laps, fourth morning – 40 laps, fifth morning – 45 laps and day 6 morning walk – 25 laps. But we can’t complain because there are children as young as 1 years old is out here loving the fresh air. There are others who have had to do MIQ for 2 weeks prior to coming here who are just happy to be in NZ breathing our fresh air before they go to their next destination. The children have been amazing on the flights, in the hotels and getting swabs as often as us – so who are we to complain.
Tonight we will celebrate with a hangi hakari distributed to our individual rooms and we will have a porporoaki on zoom with each other before we disperse to our places of isolation in our regions. The whole MIQ has been an incredible experience of endurance and tolerance, but we now have a window on what others experience, of people in custody, remand and in prison. Our government systems have been under severe pressure but we believe the precautionary approach have been the best since we just left the northern hemisphere where the 4th, 5th and 6th waves of Covid have hit with some counties going back into complete lockdown like Austria, and in the Southern hemisphere the new Covid variant, the Omicron virus is taking hold throughout the world. So although we might feel restricted and hamstrung, we must support the government in its endeavours to eliminate the virus or if not to live with it at the expense of our Maori people being the most vulnerable and the most un-vaccinated to this global pandemic
Kahurangi and ourselves as representatives of Ngāti Kahungunu have been great ambassadors for the country and have shown discipline in our self-isolation processes. From Hayden, Paddy, Traci, Danielle, Kahurangi and ourselves and the other Kahungunu whanau who have been on this trip, we acknowledge all the support that has been given and forever extend our thanks and congratulations for the execution of the Iwi AGM virtually as we lead into new horizons in our international networks from our own turangawaewae.
Kia mau tonu ki te mana ahua ake o Ngāti Kahungunu. Tihei Aratini!