Video message from Paula Tesoriero on the North Island floods
The recent North Island floods are heart-breaking and have left a mark on all of us. Amidst the devastation, we are seeing the true spirit of the community shine through. With community volunteers, DPOs, and providers working tirelessly to support those in need, we are reminded of the power of kotahitanga/coming together.
Here is a video message from our Chief Executive Paula Tesoriero MNZM.
Ngā mihi nui, kia koutou katoa, ko Paula Tesoriero toku ingoa. I'm the Chief Executive of Whaikaha, the Ministry of Disabled People. My sign name is two fists, moving in a forward direction like a bike. Today I am wearing round silver earrings. I have short brown hair and I'm wearing a multi-colored short sleeve top, primarily purple, green and black.
I know that for many people the North Island floods and the impact from the weather has been traumatic and this will be felt for some time during the recovery efforts.
It's been particularly stressful for disabled people and families. Community volunteers, including organisations and individuals as well as providers on the ground are doing an amazing job for our community.
While there’s certainly been some learnings, I'm really proud of Whaikaha and what we've been able to achieve in collaboration with others. The situation is now evolving from an immediate response to medium to long term recovery.
I want to reassure you that our response to the flood and the needs of disabled people and whānau will continue to remain a priority for us. The Whaikaha team will continue to work with the community, disabled people's organisations, providers, NASCs, government agencies and allies over the next coming days and weeks.
Please keep checking our Facebook page for updates and use the link below - facebook.com/whaikaha.govt - for further information.
This type of thing can take a toll on a person’s well being. You can call or text the number 1737 any time to talk to a trained counsellor. You can also call the Whakarongorau line for support, and that includes things like assistance with filling out insurance claims. That line can be reached using 0800 11 12 13 or text 8988.
Please continue to look after yourselves and one another as you have been doing, and I encourage you to reach out to us if there’s anything additional that we can do to support ngā mihi nui, take care. Paula