Whānau Ora: Supporting Maru to access practical support
Published 5 April 2023
Maru spent most of her life in Australia before she developed a neurological disorder in her teens that greatly impacted her ability to use her arms, legs and balance. Maru is not an Australian citizen and was not eligible for social or disability support in the country. She and her whānau had to make the difficult decision to move back to New Zealand to access our health and disability system.
In January, Maru and her whānau were affected by flooding. Their fridge, food supplies and other belongings were destroyed. They have not been able to start the application process for financial assistance from WINZ or replace their damaged items as their priority has been on Maru's care.
To assist Maru and her whānau during this challenging time, we helped them access funding for some essential furniture and food. We supported Maru to purchase a new cellphone, so she can stay connected with her friends and whānau. These items will provide practical support for their immediate needs, as well as improve Maru's comfort and quality of life while they recover from the impacts of the floods. It is important to recognise the unique challenges faced by tāngata whaikaha Māori like Maru, and to offer meaningful support to help people access the resources they need to thrive.
If you are tāngata whaikaha Māori and receive disability supports from us, let us know if you've been impacted by the floods, Covid or need more assistance to navigate supports in the community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line "whānau ora".