BLOG by Rawinia Parata: GDC Councillor   -   © photos courtesy HIKO Media House

Looking back on the last 6 weeks everything seems a blur. One devastating event after another.

It's humbling to have been stripped back and forced to focus on the bare essentials of life and in that same vein, what truly matters. 

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We have good people here in Te Tairawhiti. And during insurmountable suffering those good people served our region, saved lives, cleaned silt off properties and out of homes. Those same good people delivered food, medication, and essential supplies to our vulnerable and elderly. We've had landowners offer up whenua for roads, men and women build those roads from dirt, technicians and linesmen workday and night to restore power. More good people from iwi, the public service and welfare organisations drove to the most remote communities and poured out support. 

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Good people have been the backbone of our region. 

Now we're standing in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle asking ourselves 'what's next?" 

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I have been privy to all levels of conversations, from whanau who evacuated, from iwi Leaders, from community Civil Defence efforts who led the response, all the way up to the senior leadership of our region, and let me tell you, we're all having the hard talks, we are confronting every dark corner and all the pleasantries of polite folk have well and truly dissipated, we all want nothing short of the best for our people and we are all ready to fight for it.

I do not have the delegation to speak on behalf of Council, so I won't. 

What I can say is that all of the great minds who live in Te Tairawhiti, who love Te Tairawhiti and especially the ones that are from Te Tairawhiti are focused not just on recovery but on a better future, the one we deserve. 

Stay tuned, if we thought the storm was rocky, our re-emergence will stun you.  

Rawinia Parata 87  Rawinia Parata: GDC Councillor