National | Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19

Hikarukutai hero travels 40 mins every day to take kai to her elders

The lockdown means that whānau can only leave home to pick up essentials. Te Whānau ā Apanui rohe have spearheaded several initiatives to ensure that their people have access to food. One such initiative is the work of Takapau Flavell who travels from her home in Ōpōtiki to the small community of Hāwai every day to take kai to her elders.

“The thought came about from my love for my iwi, the love for the families who are living in the borders, the elders that are not able to come out of the borders,” Flavell says.

The mother of five acknowledges that through the support of her partner she is able to serve her whānau and her people. She says that her children give their full support to her work and the community have also come together to support and assist her.

“The greatest outcome from all of this is the help and love from all Te Whānau ā Apanui families. They are eager to help our elders and our mokopuna.”

A great example of this is how the Maraenui kōhanga reo have lent her their van to help. This means that Flavell can pick up more supplies in one run and serve more whānau each day. This is crucial as it is a 40 minute trip from the Ōpōtiki to Hāwai.