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NEWS RELEASE: OPOTIKI RANGATAHI LEAD WEEKEND COVID- 19 EFFORT

22 March 2022 Press contact: IMMEDIATE

Opotiki Rangatahi Kanoa Rewiri on 0274846272 or kgsrewiri@gmail.com Trista Hudson on 0210788528 or tristaleighh@opotikicol.school.nz Hoana Paruru on 0225474290 or hoanap@opotikicol.school.nz Shannon Hanrahan – Executive Chair KŌ Kollective Trust on 021 683252 or info@ko-kollective.nz

NEWS RELEASE OPOTIKI RANGATAHI LEAD WEEKEND COVID- 19 EFFORT

Weekend Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) distribution in Opotiki is being led by three local Rangatahi - Kanoa Rewiri (17), Trista Hudson (16) and Hoana Paruru (17). Supported by Te Ao Trust, KŌ Kollective Trust, and Opotiki Our Way, the three Opotiki Rangatahi are part of a community effort to ensure local whānau have access to RATs during the weekend and are supported to isolate. RATs are now the main testing method being used to detect Covid-19 if you have symptoms or are a household contact. It is a self-administered nasal swab test, and a result is available in about 20 minutes. Because RATs are part of the Covid-19 public health response, they are free for those that need them, and their distribution is being centrally managed. People can request RATs online or by phone and then pick them up with minimal contact. Opotiki Rangatahi are key to the local effort to ensure that RATs are available 7 days a week. “It’s been a great opportunity to give back to the community, help whānau and learn some new skills”, says Kanoa Rewiri. With the COVID-19 surge, Rangatahi have stepped up to mahi aroha, or volunteer, providing additional support during the weekend. As well as RATs distribution, the

Rangatahi are helping pack kai, delivering kai to whānau, and checking in with whānau who are isolating. “It’s an extension of what I do at home. Sometimes I do the shopping and drop off groceries. I am doing the same thing but just for other whānau,” says Hoana Paruru. “I like being able to help keep whānau safe. It feels good to know that I am doing some positive to help others,” says Trista Hudson. Local Opotiki voluntary and community organisations are looking to work with Rangatahi to build on the mahi aroha work undertaken as part of COVID-19 recovery. Overseas experiences show that COVID-19 is likely to remain in the community for a long time. New solutions and responses are needed as communities adapt and learn to live with COVID-19 as part of everyday life. “These young wahine are an inspiration. They remind us that part of being a member of our Opotiki community is to extend our hearts and our time to help others in need when we can. Engaging the good will of Rangatahi and local whānau who wish to give their time and volunteer must be a key feature of our local Opotiki response as we recover from COVID-19,” says KŌ Kollective Trust Executive Chair, Shannon Hanrahan. Tests can be ordered online via requestrats.covid19.health.nz and can be picked up from 38 King St:

  • Monday - Friday 3pm – 5 pm

  • Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm Do you know of any Opotiki Rangatahi that might want to help at the weekend? Please contact Kanoa on 0274846272; Trista on 0210788528 or Hoana on 0225474290 You can read more about RATs and how to order them on the Unite Against Covid-19 website. Ends



Left to Right: Opotiki Rangatahi: Kanoa Rewiri (17), Trista Hudson (16) and Hoana Paruru (17).

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