The National Iwi Chairs Forum welcomes the further clarity and guidance on Alert Level 4 rules during lockdown, issued by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield over the weekend.
Speaking from the Wellington base of the National Iwi Chairs Forums newly activated Pandemic Response Group (PRG), Chair Mike Smith says, ‘The 701F notice, issued under the Health Act 1956 is very clear about what people can and can’t do while in isolation. We have been concerned that prior to this clarification, people were making their own interpretation on what forms of recreational activities were acceptable’
The clarification also gives an expectation of what powers the New Zealand Police have in order to enforce the Alert Level 4 rules. ‘We support the fact that this further empowers the police to take greater action to ensure compliance by the public,’ says Smith, ‘while we support Ngāti Porou requesting a military presence in their region, we acknowledge that in other areas, the presence of the New Zealand Police will be enough to ensure that the rules are being followed’
Some iwi are still reporting late night travel under cover of dark, particularly in tourist regions. Of equal concern, are the large numbers of people gathering in urban areas at popular exercise hotspots like outdoor basketball courts and jogging paths.
‘It is alarming to still see the high number of people who continue to flout quarantine rules. If people continue with this behaviour, it will increase the likelihood of community transmission, says Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, Kaiarataki Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui.
‘We are aware there is no Plan B. It is unfortunate that stronger enforcement is the only way to guarantee containment, but too many people are still not taking this as seriously as they need to’
Statistics are showing that it is not Māori people who are transmitting the COVID-19 virus at this stage. ‘The Ministry of Health data now reveals where the largest numbers of confirmed cases are, what the age group is and other details,’ says Lisa Tumahai, Kaiwhakahaere Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
‘While it is not Māori people currently transmitting the COVID-19 virus, we still want to encourage all whānau Māori to stick to the lockdown to help save Māori lives. Our risk is greater than most of the general population. The last thing anyone of us would want to do is be the person that infects all of our own whanau.’
The National Iwi Chairs Forum established the Pandemic Response Group to provide a collaborative platform for iwi and Māori groups to elevate critical needs to urgent decision making during the pandemic.
Mike Smith 021504486

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer 0211303912
NICF – Pandemic Response Group

MEDIA ADVISORY: Level of information available on confirmed and probable cases

Friday, 3 April 2020

Level of information available on confirmed and probable cases

We appreciate media want to know about the number of cases and the breakdown of where those cases are within the Bay of Plenty District Health Board area and the Lakes District Health Board area.

The Ministry of Health is updating the confirmed and probable numbers by DHB on their website, as well as the number of inpatients across all the 20 DHBs and which hospital they are in.  

The Ministry of Health has now approved Toi Te Ora to communicate the regional breakdown of confirmed and probable cases for the Western Bay of Plenty and Eastern Bay of Plenty (covering the Bay of Plenty District Health Board area) and Rotorua and Taupo (covering the Lakes District Health Board area). This information will be published on the Toi Te Ora website between 2pm and 3pm daily.

The BOP Health COVID-19 Response website will be updated too.

For privacy reasons, neither the Bay of Plenty District Health Board nor Lakes District Health Board are unable to provide any further details on any COVID-19 inpatients.

Thank you for your understanding. We’re all in this together.


Bay of Plenty District Health Board                         Lakes District Health Board

Public Information Manager (PIM)                             Public Liaison Manager
eoccommunication@bopdhb.govt.nz sue.wilkie@lakesdhb.govt.nz

Ngāti Awa Kaumatua receive their Ngāti Awa Awhi.#2

Update 2:

Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa have started delivering Ngāti Awa awhi packs. A shipment of kai and bulk goods was delivered to Motiti island on Wednesday.

Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa will be contacting those kaumatua registered with Omataroa No. 2 Trust, Kiwinui Forest Trust, Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa Kaumātua Programme, Ngāti Awa Kaumātua registered with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa within the next 5 days. If you are not contacted within the next 5 days please call 0800 525 009.”

Public should be confident in Bay of Plenty health system’s COVID-19 preparations says healthcare leader

People should have confidence in the preparations being made on their behalf by their healthcare professionals says the person leading the Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s (BOPDHB) COVID-19 response.

“We’re seeing the very best of our people in this situation,” said BOPDHB Incident Controller Bronwyn Anstis.

“Everyone is going the extra mile, putting their hands up and taking on responsibility. For me it’s been quite a humbling experience. People are going above and beyond and we’ve seen the results of that in terms of planning and preparedness as a health system across the Bay of Plenty. It’s very much an attitude of we’re all in this together and we’re dealing with it,” she said.

Planning for the BOPDHB’s COVID-19 response began back in early January and this intensified as the threat developed to the point where on Monday 16 March an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated.

Anstis said there were a number of key actions and activities which had occurred during the planning phase to assist our health system in its preparedness. These included:

  • Reducing all non essential electives (surgeries) and outpatient appointments to create capacity within our hospitals
  • Moving to alternative ways of providing patient care, such as the use of telehealth (phone and video consultations with our patients)
  • Moving to a lockdown environment for our hospitals and reducing visitor flow to help protect our community and our patients from COVID-19
  • Establishing Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs), allowing people to be assessed for potential COVID-19 symptoms away from our hospital and GP environments
  • Significant preparation (with planning covering workforce, equipment and training) across our hospital’s Emergency Departments, inpatient wards and critical care units
  • Working with our 18 Iwi in the Bay, and Māori in general, to ensure good access to healthcare services, including exploring different ways for services to be provided to rural and remote communities
  • Supporting our primary and community providers, establishing what supports are needed and working with them on this. 

What is an EOC and how does it work?

Anstis said the EOC activated on 16 March, which she heads up as Incident Controller, was the BOPDHB’s mechanism for running its response and explained how it operated.

“The EOC is our control centre for major operations of this sort and was last activated in response to the Whakaari – White Island eruption in December. Essentially it gives us a model by which we can coordinate such a huge operation,” she said.

“Within the EOC we have several key roles or functions. It’s an informational pyramid and a multitude of teams and services feed into these key roles, who in turn report to the Incident Controller to help ensure everything is coordinated across our health services – hospital and community.”

Staff welfare throughout the health system remained top of mind in such a demanding response said Anstis, and explained one way in which this was demonstrated within the EOC.

“This is a seven-day-a-week response so as part of our planning we have two EOC teams rostered to ensure our staff who are fulfilling these roles get sufficient breaks to recharge. The nature of this incident is that it is likely to be a lengthy response so managing people’s welfare is key.”

Anstis said the DHB wanted to pay tribute to the work which was ongoing in the Bay’s broader healthcare system to keep our communities safe from COVID-19.

“We are linked in with our GPs and community healthcare providers and they are all doing such incredible work for the communities we serve. Again it’s an attitude of getting the job done whatever that takes.”

Above: BOPDHB Incident Controller Bronwyn Anstis

For more details contact:

James Fuller

Communications Advisor – Bay of Plenty District Health Board

DDI: 07 579 8411

Mobile: 027 839 1791

Fax: 07 577 9195      

Email: james.fuller@bopdhb.govt.nz

Website:  http://www.bopdhb.govt.nz/

Media Release – Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management call centre launched

31 March 2020

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management has launched a new 0800 number helping Bay of Plenty households meet essential needs during the national rāhui period.

The number is 0800 884 222 
The call centre will be open from 7am – 7pm, 7 days a week.

Group Controller, Clinton Naude, said that the phone number was to make sure that no households ‘fell through the cracks’ during the national lockdown. 

“There are many services provided nationally and locally and people are making extensive use of these already – Healthline, Lifeline, mental health support, local phone numbers for essential services, business support and so on. This phone number is not a replacement for these resources. 

“This 0800 number aims to ensure that household basic needs continue to be met during the national lockdown. We are particularly concerned about people living alone, perhaps in isolated locations or without internet and smartphones. There may be people who are not mobile and have lost their usual support services at this time and are worried about groceries, diesel for their generator, collecting prescription medicines and so on. 

“We have seen some extraordinary community cohesiveness in recent days and I hope it continues. That sense of community is certainly filling some gaps and neighbours are looking out for neighbours, iwi authorities are making sure their Kaumātua and vulnerable are looked after, service groups are in touch with their members, volunteer groups are working hard remotely and essential services continue. I encourage everyone to use these vital networks where possible. This 0800 number is one more safety net to make sure no one is left isolated without necessities at this time.

“These are still early days of household isolation and it may be that help isn’t needed right now, but it is a number to put away for if or when it is needed. It is also very new, so we’ll also get a better understanding of the sorts of issues arising and what people’s needs are over the coming days,” Mr Naude said. 

The call centre will carry out a needs assessment for each household’s basic needs – food, groceries, heating or other household goods and services. The centre will also be able to provide advice to callers about other government support agencies when appropriate or they may be able to assist directly. 


Noho Tawhiti. Tū Kotahi – Sit at a distance. Stand as one

For COVID-19 update Go to covid19.govt.org for more information

During lockdown we may experience all sorts of things: anxiety, loneliness, fear. Need to talk? Free phone or text 1737.  


For further media information, please contact the duty PIM officer pim@bopcivildefence.govt.nz

Ngāti Awa Kaumatua receive their Ngāti Awa Awhi.


Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa have started delivering Ngāti Awa awhi packs. They will continue to do this over the coming days. A shipment of kai and bulk goods is destined for Motiti island on Wednesday.

30 were distributed today, a further 34 will go out tomorrow morning and 14 individual kaumatua packs will go to Motiti on Wednesday.

47 emergency packages are going to highly vulnerable whanau with 7 of these packages being delivered today.

Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa will be contacting those kaumatua registered with Omataroa No. 2 Trust, Kiwinui Forest Trust, Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa Kaumātua Programme, Ngāti Awa Kaumātua registered with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa within the next 5 days. If you are not contacted within the next 5 days please call 0800 525 009.”

Covid-19 Response Team established at Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa. Update to the Iwi COVID-19 #6

For more information go to https://nash.org.nz/covid19

A COVID-19 response team has been established and will oversee the implementation of the Iwi pandemic response plan. Our focus will be to ensure the safety and wellbeing of ngā uri o ngā hapū o Ngāti Awa. Critical services will be maintained, and the COVID-19 Ngāti Awa Response Strategy will be implemented.

  • Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa are not closed with the exception of the Early Childhood Centre. We are still here for you by phone 0800 525 009.
  • Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa are operating a triage service for emergency situations.
  • All services will operate as normal, with face to face home visits being replaced by phone calls, and the use of online technology.
  • Existing clients can keep in contact with their kaiawhina, nurses and programme coordinators by ringing or texting the usual cell phone numbers for support.
  • Critical Services such as Care & Protection, Emergency Housing, Family Harm Support are still operating under the usual referral protocols.
  • “Ngāti Awa Awhi” including support packages will be provided directly to Ngāti Awa kaumatua over 65 years. Please contact 0800 525 009.
  • Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa will be contacting those kaumatua registered with Omataroa No. 2 Trust, Kiwinui Forest Trust, Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngāti Awa Kaumātua Programme, Ngāti Awa Kaumātua registered with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa within the next 5 days. If you are not contacted within the next 5 days please call 0800 525 009.

COVID-19 Drive-through Assessment Centre Opens in Whakatāne. Update to the Iwi COVID-19 #5

A drive-through assessment centre for coronavirus (COVID-19) launched today at the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall as a collaborative effort between Te Puna Ora O Mataatua and The Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance, with support from the Bay of Plenty DHB.

The centre has been set up to allow other medical centres, general practices (GPs) and Whakatāne Hospital to continue providing health services to the public without the threat of COVID-19 transmission.

People with suspected COVID-19 symptoms will be able to drive directly to the centre to be assessed.

“If you have respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath or a sore throat, or flu-like symptoms you can be assessed at the drive through centre” says Med Central Director Dr Jethro Le Roy. “All assessment will be based from your car to ensure everyone can safely get support and advice without putting others at risk.”

People should ideally seek advice from Healthline 0800 358 5453 or their GP before attending the centre to check whether their symptoms meet the criteria for assessment and will need to arrive in a vehicle as no walk-ins will be accepted. People with symptoms are advised not to use public transport to travel to the centre.

The centre is open at Whakatāne War Memorial Hall, Short Street, on Wednesday 25 March and will be open seven days a week from 9am-6pm, with opening hours likely to change according to community need. Changes to these times will be publicised.

People who use the drive through service will need to drive up to the centre, register their details using the online system, and can then drive up to a triage station to be assessed from their cars. A team of doctors and nurses and support staff will be onsite to help with the process of assessing COVID-19 symptoms, testing, advice and treatment. People are asked for their patience and understanding at this time as this will help support our healthcare staff in carrying out their duties.

The launch of the centre was not publicised until after the first shift to allow a ‘soft opening’ on the first day, allowing staff to test systems and ensure it works well.

If a person is unable to access a vehicle or has other questions or support needs relating to the virus, they can call Te Puna Ora’s local information line 0800 628 228 and press 9 for the dedicated COVID-19 local support line.


Contact information:

Te Puna Ora O Mataatua & Eastern Bay of Plenty Primary Health Alliance

Contact: Anna Hughes

Phone: 0800 628228


Nationwide state of emergency. Update to the Iwi COVID-19 #4

A nationwide state of emergency has been declared at 12.21 today due to COVID-19.

This covers all of New Zealand including the Chatham Islands, Stewart Island and other offshore islands.

Visit www.covid19.govt.nz for COVID-19 information and updates