Public feedback welcomed by post-COVID recovery team



Tim Easton from Whanganui & Partners, and Harriet McKenzie and Cass Alexander from the DHB at the recovery team’s caravan on Saturday morning.

Members of Whanganui’s Integrated Recovery Team (IRT) were at the riverside market on Saturday getting feedback from the public on the impacts of COVID-19 and the lessons learned from the response to the virus.


The IRT is a multi-agency team helping the Whanganui region recover post Covid-19, with a focus on the social, economic and health aspects.


Recovery manager Louise Allsopp said the team was keen to know the key things our communities needed to thrive during recovery and beyond.


“We got a lot of people coming up to talk to us, and they were very interested in the recovery effort. We want to know what were the potentially good things that have emerged from our response to the pandemic.”


Post-it notes from the public filled a board by the IRT caravan, responding to questions such as: “What worked well during lockdown?”; “What did you miss?”; “What would you like to hold on to?”.


The IRT is a collaborative group made up of Whanganui District Health Board, Whanganui District Council, Rangitikei District Council, Ruapehu District Council, Whanganui Regional Health Network, iwi and supporting agencies.


The public engagement has also seen visits to Hakeke St Community Centre, the Safety and Wellbeing Reference Group, the Safer Whanganui Steering Group, Bulls Rural Women’s group and Jigsaw Whanganui.


A survey conducted by IRT prompted 356 individual responses, with 146 of those indicating people suffered from anxiety or stress as a result of lockdown.  The most common reasons for this stress were financial, loss of freedom, fear of bringing the virus home to family members and concerns about getting sick with Covid-19.


The work the IRT is doing will help deliver Whanganui DHB’s Thriving Communities strategy by considering social, economic and pro-equity factors in the wider determinants of health.


24 June 2020