Thriving in Isolation in Opoutere

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He waka eke noa.

We are all in this together.

At the moment things are pretty unsettled and unsettling. We are all facing uncertainty about so many things – our health, our financial security, perhaps our family situations. It is normal to feel anxious and a bit out of sorts, these are unprecedented events in our lives.

In times of sudden change it’s good to start with the basics. If you want to understand more about COVID-19/Coronavirus the best website to visit is the official New Zealand Government page: It has simple explanations of the alert level system and what this means for us all. It explains how to keep yourself safe and how to ask for help (financial, medical, social).

From 11.59pm Wednesday 25 March our country goes to COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

This is when our lives really change for a while and when we need to step up as friends, neighbours and community members. 

How We Can Stay Safe in Opoutere

We are very lucky to be in a quiet corner of the world at the moment, so let’s help each other to stay well and happy through the coming months.

It is important to follow the official advice on public health and social measures that need to be taken to contain the spread of the disease.

  • Stay home
  • Maintain 2 metre social distancing, everything you do must be solitary. The bottom line is that the government are asking us to only spend time with people we are self-isolating with, keep your distance from all others at all times. A walk or bike ride is encouraged but you need to maintain that 2m distance from people who are not in your immediate family group.
  • Check in on the elderly and vulnerable. Make regular phone calls, say hello over the fence (2m distance), offer to collect groceries or medication.
  • Keep yourself healthy with frequent hand washing and appropriate hygiene routines.

The Ministry of Health has a great website with useful links to information about the disease itself, prevention and what to do if you have been exposed.

Importantly, here is the Healthline number 0800 358 5453. This is a free, 24hr service that provides advice and information for any Covid-19 concerns you may have.

Another source of good information is the World Health Organisation

Official advice for mental wellbeing

From the NZ government website:

“Reach out to your usual supports – family and whānau, friends and workmates. Sharing how we feel and offering support to others is important. 

We also recommend sticking to a routine such as having regular mealtimes, bedtimes and exercising. 

If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.  

Spend time in places that feel safe and comfortable as much as possible. 
Tell yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction and will pass – it’s nothing to be afraid of. 
Keep active – doing usual leisure activities and seeing friends can improve general wellbeing and help distract from distressing feelings.”

Some Local Initiatives

Jo Adams, the Onemana Rural Fireforce Chief, has been busy working the phones and lining up some really helpful resources for the Opoutere community. We are very grateful for his advocacy and practical planning on our behalf.

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Thank you, Jo!

Food Shopping

Supermarkets are an “essential business” and will be remaining open. There’s no panic around food and household supplies!

The New World supermarket in Whangamata have been contacted by Jo and have  proposed a grocery delivery service to customers in Opoutere. This will help reduce pressure on the supermarket staff who will be enforcing a one-in-one-out rule and will reduce the risk of infection for everyone. The plan involves ordering online as you normally would and the team will get the groceries out to Opoutere. It is important to prevent any contact with delivery staff – so stay indoors and wave gratefully when the goodies arrive!

Follow this link to the New World online shopping page.

We will let you know if any of these details change. Thank you, Neville and the team at Whangamata!


With the cooperation of local forestry Jo is sourcing some large pine trees to be split up and distributed to anyone in need. We will let you know how to access this wood once it has been split and stockpiled. If you can help with the wood processing please give Jo a call on 027 449 3034.

Fire and Emergency Teams

Jo is carefully managing his volunteer fire-fighting teams to keep them safe and able to respond as they normally would to any fire or first aid emergencies.

If you would like to be involved with the Onemana Voluntary Rural Fire Force give Jo a call on 027 449 3034.

Share Your Garden’s Bounty!

If you’ve got some extra fruit or vegetables that you can’t eat please think about popping a notice on the bus shelter noticeboard with your phone number. (You might get a jar of preserves or marmalade in return.)

Want to get in touch?

There’s a notice on the bus shelter that you can write your number on if you need ANYTHING. Or you can leave us a message HERE and we will email you back within the day.

Take care, everyone.


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