National | Bayden Barber

Ngāti Kahungunu 'deeply concerned' for whānau affected by cyclone, share 'key messages'

The clean up at Takitimu Marae, Wairoa, after Cyclone Gabrielle.  Photo: Ricky Wilson / Stuff

Ngāti Kahungunu continues to be "deeply concerned" for whānau impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, now almost a month ago since it "visited us", the Iwi says.

"We are deeply concerned for our whānau who have been sorely affected by the cyclone. Many have lost their homes, marae, kura, livelihood, their animals, their precious taonga and valuable things," Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi said in "key messages" shared on their website on Friday.

In an update on Facebook, the Iwi said this past week their board met and received reports from each Taiwhenua and Taurahere representative.

"It was very emotional to connect to those areas most affected by the Cyclone."

Key messages to emerge from this have been put onto the iwi website and will be shared widely through its communication channels, it said.

"Te Aka Whai Ora has prepared some great communications with ideas to help us in our whānau to cope with these challenging times."

The Iwi's messages included acknowledgement that they have heard their people's voices and that whānau are requesting an "urgent response" to rebuild their homes.

"We have heard the voice of our affected whānau who have been challenged through this experience. Some have lost everything and have no back up plan, no insurance, no money to rebuild, no money to clear, clean and restart."

"Our whānau have said that they need money to help them rebuild their homes and their communities."

"Whānau want iwi leaders to voice their concerns to the government and request an urgent response to help them rebuild their homes, and restore their mana."

The Iwi recognised the many who have provided support, "everyone who has been helping in this space", and those who have offered donations "of all kinds".

"It has been an eye-opener seeing the impact of support on our people."

"The support has been overwhelming."

Ngāti Kahungunu shared several key actions they are taking to 'escalate the voice of our whānau', from "live conversations" around housing and whānau wellbeing, to ensuring "whānau are at the forefront" of decisions.

"We are building kotahitanga across Hawke’s Bay and having live conversations with national and regional forums to facilitate the voice of our whānau highlighting housing, economic recovery, infrastructure, and whānau wellbeing."

"We are working with the Regional Economic Development (RED) leaders, our Post Settlement Group Entities, and Taiwhenua, to effectively lead the recovery phase."

"We are working collectively with the horticultural, and beef and lamb sectors to provide recovery packages to help restore this primary sector, the very backbone of our economy in Aotearoa, especially here in our Hawke’s Bay Region."

"We are escalating the voice of our whānau and ensuring that our whānau are at the forefront of all of our decisions and discussions."

Ngāti Kahungunu chief executive Chrissie Hape and board chair Bayden Barber signed off with words of reassurance.

"We continue to work for the needs of our iwi to ensure confidence, hope, strength, unity, and leadership during these hard times."