21/04 Media Release – Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective
Iwi collective urges to stay at Level 4 despite announcement

The Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective is urging whānau, iwi and all communities to ‘hold the line’ and maintain a Level 4 mentality despite the Government decision to move to Level 3 next Tuesday.

There have been 8 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Whanganui District Health Board region since Level 4 isolation was instigated and iwi are stressing the reality that the threat is ongoing.

Spokesperson Gerrard Albert says, “A change in alert status doesn’t make our people less vulnerable to the ravages of Covid-19, especially our kaumatua. So we are continuing to view the threat as seriously as we have from the start.”

The collective says that the Government’s decision to move to Level 3 next week does not address the inherent vulnerabilities present in iwi communities. As a result, the iwi will continue to support measures such as road closures on Kaiwhaiki and River roads and active policing to discourage visitors from outside the region.

“Regardless of the Government’s Level 3 announcement, people must stay home unless they absolutely have to leave their bubble to access essential services – the risk to our whanau remains,” adds Albert.

The Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective stance is that until a vaccine is available, communities must continue to be vigilant, maintain hygiene and isolation bubbles to keep Covid-19 at bay.

ENDS

The latest update from the Education Minister and the Director-General of Health
– Day 27 of Alert Level 4:

In his briefing today Dr Ashley Bloomfield sadly reported the death of a women linked to COVID-19. The woman was in her seventies and lived in St Margaret’s Hospital and Rest Home in Te Atatu, Auckland.

Our hearts go out to her family, friends and loved ones. We offer the sympathy and support of all New Zealanders. Our thoughts are also with the dedicated staff that cared for her. We ask that the privacy of the family be respected.

• Today there are 2 new confirmed cases and 3 probable cases. A total of 5 new cases. All of these cases are linked to existing cases. The total number of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand to date is 1,445. 1006 cases have recovered – this is an increase of 32 from yesterday.

• 12 people are currently in hospital. 3 people in ICU, 1 each in Middlemore, Dunedin, North Shore. None are in a critical condition.

• There are still 16 significant clusters, 4 more COVID-19 cases have been linked to these clusters.

• There 3,203 tests yesterday have been 89,503 total tests to date. We will continue some community testing this week, particularly in Tairāwhiti, Taranaki and Northland.

• We remain at Alert Level 4, we will wake up to Alert Level 3 next Tuesday 28 April.

• Parliament will meet again on Tuesday 28 April, the exact details will be confirmed following a meeting of the Business Committee tomorrow.

• Under Alert Level 3 most children and young people will be continuing distance learning.

• Early learning centres and schools will be open for students up to Year 10. But children who can stay home, should stay home. At-risk students and staff, including those over 70, should stay home.

• Residential and special schools will not reopen for students to physically attend in the early stages of Alert Level 3. They may reopen later if public health measures can be implemented.

• Most children who need to attend school can do so from 29 April. It may take longer for some schools to be ready and the Ministry of Education will work with them to prepare.

• NCEA students in Years 11-13 will continue remotely. Teachers will continue to support students while they are at home.

• For tertiary education, Alert Level 3 means remote learning will continue. Where that is not possible, some facilities may reopen with strict physical distancing in place.

• Students currently in hostels or self-contained flats can stay there with strict rules, but if students moved home to join their family bubbles they should stay there.

• The Ministry of Education has been working with sector groups to work through any practical issues. Detailed advice to support schools will be released over the next week.

• Our approach to reopening schools is based on the latest public health advice. Physical distancing will be difficult with young children, however we’ve reached the point where the Director-General is confident we have no widespread community transmission.

• It is important that parents do their bit – keep children at home if you can, especially if they are unwell. Strictly maintain your family bubble outside of school and work and basic hygiene.

• Distance learning will be with us for some time, for at least another three weeks. We’ve started the distribution of technology, equipment and resources to support this.

• To the parents out there, be kind to yourself we are not expecting parents to completely replace the classroom environment at home. These are extraordinary times.

• Thanks to our education professionals for their hard work to support their schools and students.

Arohanui Aotearoa.

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