Published in: Kokiri Issue 22 - Paenga-whāwhā - Haratua 2011
Five wāhine were amongst the first from Te Whakaruruhau Māori Women’s Refuge to travel to Christchurch to assist Ōtautahi Māori Women’s Refuge with post-earthquake relief efforts.
The first team of wāhine were (pictured below, left to right): Taina Nathan Te-Ao, Piki Te Huia, Lannell Wharekura, Raewyn Curtis, Roni and Betty Simpson.
Hamilton business Research Motors Ltd provided a truck, petrol and ferry fares to help the team get to Christchurch.
For 14 days much of the initial work was spent door-knocking at homes to assess the needs of those affected by the earthquake. Lanelle Wharekura said that it was a first time experience for their Waikato contingent but they were proud to have been there for their fellow Ōtautahi colleagues.
The team also spent time at Recovery Assistance Centres packing and distributing food.
The donated truck has remained in Christchurch with Ōtautahi Women’s Refuge and Te Whakaruruhau continues to support their colleagues, on a two week roster with a two member team rotation. None of the women are from Te Waipounamu and have felt privileged to be part of the recovery effort.