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What a gift for future generations

Saturday April 1, 2023

It was the audacity to be audacious that spurred on Turanga Health to publish a historic record of what they did during March last year – when the pandemic was at its height in Tairāwhiti.

Encapsulated in a hardcover book is a day-by-day account of the experience of whānau, and the kaiawhina who worked in tandem with nurses to ensure as many people as possible were protected against Covid-19 in our rohe.

The book is called Mānuka Takoto Kawea Ake I Whakaaetia Te Wero – Working in a Pandemic March 2022.

Only 400 copies of the book have been printed and it is not for sale.

Three copies were blessed into the library collection yesterday by Turanga Health Kaumatua John Pomana. Two copies will be for reference purposes and one can be taken out on loan. One copy has also been gifted to Tairāwhiti Museum.

Turanga Health CEO Reweti Ropiha says the unique book is a record of history for future generations.

It covers 82 settings from Matawai to Muriwai and everywhere in between.

“It’s all about the great mobile experience, and all about the experience whānau had at them.  “It’s the first of its kind to be published in New Zealand.”

Mr Ropiha says learnings from the Spanish Influenza were incorporated into the approach taken by Turanga Health. They wanted to ensure as many whānau in the isolated pockets of our region were immunised.

Principal Collection Services Librarian Sharon Cornwall says it’s especially important for a small region like ours to have something like this for historical records.

“It’s local, it’s from the Māori perspective and it will be available for perpetuity here at the library.”

Tairawhiti Museum Director Eloise Wallace agreed.

“Amazing mahi to the team at Turanga Health, it’s a privilege to have this book at the museum.

“This book will give future generations an idea of what happened on the ground here, which is different from what happened nationally.

“I can see it being used in our education programmes.

“The best thing is that it’s a physical copy and in 100 years, it’ll still be here.”

A gift from Turanga Health

Three copies of the Turanga Health book Mānuka Takoto Kawea Ake I Whakaaetia Te Wero – Working in a Pandemic 2022 were gifted to the library yesterday.

At the blessing were Dallas Poi (Turanga Health Service Manager), John Pomana (Turanga Health Kaumatua), Reweti Ropiha (Turanga Health CEO), Sharon Cornwall (Principal Collection Librarian Services) and Eloise Wallace (Tairawhiti Museum Director).

Picture by Gisborne Herald photographer Liam Clayton