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Call put out to show compassion for the elderly and whanau with a disability in the supermarket line

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has asked for New Zealanders and Supermarket operators to continue showing compassion by allowing the elderly and those with a disability to take priority in the queues when it comes to kai. During the last level four lockdown it was the case that essential workers and the elderly were shown priority but this time around that same approach may be slipping in some places:

“I’ve reports from across the country that there are cases whereby our elderly and those with a disability are lining up and, in some cases, where the weather is not ideal. I stress this is not everywhere but I do want to call on the team of five million to just show a little extra compassion.” Tukaki said

“Many of our elderly and those with a disability are already in the highly vulnerable groups and as has been pointed out to me often they are already anxious about being out – let alone lining up. In one case bought to my attention by Sye Peita an elderly man was the carer for his sick wife at home – he was already anxious to be away from her and so we need not prolong that any longer than it needs to be. A place in the line for the rest of us just means a little extra waiting.” Tukaki said

“The thing I would actively encourage is the major supermarket chains just make this standard practice and notify the security guards at the entrance just to identify those who might need a little extra time and for the rest of us to let them through.” Tukaki said

“One lesson we could learn is to have specific times of the morning and late afternoon where essential workers, our elderly and those with a disability can shop without facing the lines – it works in Australia and we have been here to some degree before. Certainly I’ll be in touch with the major supermarkets to see if we can make this happen.” Tukaki said

“Also, lets be mindful that our buyer behaviour right now might see us take more than we need. Keep a mind for those on national super or benefits who only get to shop once a pay day, who might not have savings in their accounts to stock up – when they reach the shelves let’s all ensure they have something to put in their trolley. In other words its like Kai Moana gathering – only take what we need so there is plenty left for others” Tukaki said

Tukaki praised people in the community like Sye Peita for keeping watch on Kaupapa such as this.

The original video from Sye can be viewed here:


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