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 for COVID-19 information and updates

Key information sources. Update to the Iwi COVID-19 #3

As the current COVID-19 situation continues to develop, we wanted to link you to some key information sources that you can share with whānau.

We are at Level 3 and moving to Level 4 at 11,59pm tonight (Weds 25 March). At this point, only essential services will operate.

The government has confirmed that  

Food will always be available – production will continue, distribution will continue, supermarkets will continue. You will always have access to food.

Medicines will always be available.

Healthcare for those that need it will be available.

Your usual financial support, like benefits, will continue as normal.

Remember, whatever you do must be solitary. Only spend time with those who you are in self-isolation with, and keep your distance from all others at all times.

Sources of current and correct information:

1. This site provides an All of Government update which is updated on a regular basis and covers a wide range of issues from Public Health, Border Control, Economic Matters, Education, Workplace, Welfare, Travel and Infrastructure matters, etc.

You can also sign up for a daily newsletter of COVID national-level information here:

2. provides for all health updates and announcements – including information about Covid-19 cases

3. Follow the Unite Against Covid-19 Facebook page to get the most recent and accurate information.

You can find out more about the Alert Level system here:

The more informed we all are the more effective we can be at mitigating the spread of Covid-19, stay safe and well. 

He waka eke noa.

Announcement from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa. Update to the Iwi COVID-19 #2

Ngā mihi o te wā ki a koutou.

At these uncertain times we remain focussed on our iwi response to Whakaari and Covid-19, and are working as quickly as we can to get regular communications out to you. We are working with Te Tohu o Te Ora o Ngati Awa to implement our iwi response and we will provide updates as they become available. We are planning for the social, cultural and economic impacts of Whakaari and Covid-19, and recognise that recovery will be long term.

With the new alert levels announced Monday 23 March we are closing the Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa offices and Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae from Tuesday 24 March.

We will remain contactable via our regular phone numbers 073070760, 0800464284, and email, individual staff member’s emails, video and audio conferencing.

Staff will continue working remotely, and we are only expecting the face to face nature of our functions to change.

Some marae have already closed, and we will continue to support tangihanga with Pātaka kai. If you require Pātaka kai and Customary Fisheries permits please contact our office using the contact details above.

Ngā manaakitanga o te waahi ngaro ki runga i a tātau i tēnei wā.