Community Scoop

We’ve got this!

copy-of-stephanie-pope-2019Stephanie Pope & Jane Clark
Director & Programme Manager | Te Wana Quality Programme

Responding to COVID-19 challenges

We at Te Wana Quality Programme are incredibly proud to be associated with our front line organisations that are offering critical support and care to our communities in so many ways.

As we phone and talk with each organisation we hear about the challenges and restrictions but most often we are hearing of an ability to continue providing essential services. Similarly about how team connections are being maintained, for example, joining daily group karakia and waiata via Zoom or other apps.

The rapid uptake of ways to work remotely, to provide services in alternative ways and how organisations are collaborating with others is impressive. Most recently Scoop reported on the opening of a Whānau Ora Community Clinic, Nga Maata Waka and He Waka Tapu Trust coordinated drive through COVID-19 testing station.

Some of the other many positive examples shared include:

  • 90% of workers set up to work from home within 3 days of the lockdown. Almost 100% within the first week.
  • Organising food parcels, personal hygiene packs, contraception and medication deliveries
  • Transport to essential medical services and drive by vaccination services
  • Additional support for those experiencing mental and family distress, new parents
  • Information and social events via Facebook and Zoom on exercises, hand washing techniques, managing anxiety, line dancing
  • Nurses being deployed to other work, including health advice through tele helplines, contact tracing, COVID-19 testing
  • Surveys to quickly identify whānau and level of need, right across the country, supporting marae in maintaining safe lockdown and generally providing support to marae, hapu, iwi
  • Special care for the most vulnerable including Kaumātua

We are also extremely heartened by feedback that Te Wana has helped organisations to be better prepared in their planning and ability to react to these exceptional circumstances.

“Thank goodness you recommended we develop risk and continuity plans and gave us templates – we had these to fall back on and could just get on with it”.

“We are actually looking forward to getting back into our Quality Action Plan believe it or not because it’s giving us a sense of hope and future – we appreciate it helped us be more able to manage now”.

“Thanks for the 3 months gap however we do quality as we go and we don’t see that we won’t be ready for our scheduled review at the end of the year (COVID-19 allowing)”.

Likewise, updates from ComVoices members – Age Concern, Community Housing, Platform Mental Health, Volunteering NZ, Multicultural NZ and many others, have been inspiring and comforting.

Inspiring, for the innovative ways in which challenges are being identified and overcome. Comforting in that despite stress and fatigue, the strongest message is of conveying care and concern for individuals and the widest community.

With its proactive leadership, resilience and ability to rapidly transform challenges into responses, the community sector is confirming its substantial value and providing confidence that yes it is hard, yes it is sad and scary but collectively – we’ve got this!


This blog has been contributed by a member of the ComVoices network. The views presented here are not necessarily those of ComVoices.

ComVoices is a Wellington based network of national community and voluntary sector organisations. It was established so that sector organisations would have a more powerful voice at Government level and in the community.

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