Tame looking at camera with his hand on a pou
November 2022

Protecting vulnerable whānau from COVID-19

Tame became the caregiver of his wife Sandy in 2010 due to a stroke which left her paralysed. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, he’s had to work extra hard to make sure she is protected from the virus.

It’s been difficult for him to have to say no to unvaccinated whānau who want to visit.

“Some of them don’t believe in that vax but they want to come and visit their Nana. And that’s one of the hardest things for me … to turn people away… But you’ve got to set boundaries for your wellbeing.”

During the COVID-19 impacts Tame has looked to his tupuna Princess Te Puea Herangi, CBE and her leadership during the 1918 flu epidemic.

“She was a change agent to look after those kids from the Spanish flu epidemic that came to New Zealand. So when COVID arrived, we’d already been through it. My mind was already pre-set: get yourself checked,” he says.

Tame encourages whānau to stay grateful for what they have.

“Always appreciate your ability to stand up out of bed and walk on Mother Earth. And look at the beautiful days. Feel the cold, feel the warmth, and to talk to people when you move out… we underestimate that beautiful thing we can do. I can walk out today, I can go sit out in the sun, I can go into my garden, I can go out and go and visit people.”

Watch the video of Tame.

Protecting our wellbeing

Antiviral medicine is available for whānau like Sandy who are at risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. If you are Māori aged 50 and over or have a severely weakened immune system or condition that puts you at high risk, you are eligible for antiviral medicine. Talk to your doctor or hauora provider or check out our antiviral medicine page for more information.

Antiviral medicine