Central Hawke's Bay District Council Social Development Lead Christine Renata has been leading the COVID-19 Civil Defence welfare response for Central Hawke’s Bay. She was instrumental in getting Central Hawke’s Bay people the support they needed during the lockdown, and will continue to provide welfare support as our communities slowly start to get back to the ‘new normal’.
“I’ve been working alongside my colleague Bridget Cover to deliver welfare services to the Central Hawke's Bay since before lockdown, and will continue for some time yet until our community no longer requires our support.
“There are lots of similarities between this role and my day-to-day role. In my response role I continued to work closely with all of the wonderful community organisations, volunteer groups and our central government partners. This is something that I do every day in my usual role and the relationships that we have built up over a number of years really made a huge difference to how we were able to quickly and effectively respond to this major event.
“It was great to support those networks who work within our Central Hawke’s Bay Community Wellbeing Strategy such as Safer CHB, Youth Development, Positive Ageing and the Disability Reference Group, and to develop new networks and relationships that we can build on in the future.
“The scale of the event and that it has affected everyone’s lives in so many ways meant that we had to be very flexible in response. Things moved and changed quickly and we were mindful that we were not only meeting immediate needs for the community but planning for the medium and long term as well. We also have the added pressure of a severe drought affecting our rural community, which meant the impact on many of our residents was compounded.
“We have an amazing resilient community here in Central Hawke's Bay – one that pulls together to help each other out when needed, that looks after those that need a little more support than others and that comes together and works hard to get the job done.
“I love being part of a great team who are all focused on getting our district through both the COVID-19 and drought events. I’ve learnt so much over the past few weeks – it’s been quite a ride.”
28 May 2020
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