A Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board staff member is the first person to test positive for Covid-19 in Taupō.

He is Te Mahau Kingi who recently returned from London, via Dubai and arrived in Auckland on flight EK0448 on March 12. He then flew back to Taupō on March 14.

New Zealand now has 52 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including two cases which have no link to overseas travel.

As a precaution, Kingi immediately self-isolated at home in Taupō, and contacted the Ministry of Health.


On Tuesday he was tested by the Taupō Health Centre, and his results returned positive on Friday.

Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board's chief executive officer Shane Heremaia said the Trust was focused on supporting Kingi, and wanted to ensure the iwi and community that he had been careful since returning home.

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"It is a very difficult time for all, and we know our people will be concerned, and that's why the Trust, with the support of Mr Kingi, are making this public.

"Our focus is on ensuring he is safe and well and providing him with all the support he needs. He did the right thing by asking to be tested earlier this week.

"Mr Kingi is an experienced traveller, and someone who has worked in challenging environments before, so he has done the best he could to self-isolate and avoid contact with others.

"I can confirm that he has not been to any of our Iwi marae since returning home, or, been in our Trust's office.

"We hope that the people of Taupō will support him with aroha as he recuperates.


"Our thoughts are also with our kaumātua and kuia, and all those over 70. We support the call by the Prime Minister to encourage our elders to stay home.

"It's an important time for us all to show kotahitanga (unity) and manaakitanga (support) for each other, especially our kaumātua," Heremaia said.

Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board will continue to update the Iwi via its website tuwheratoa.co.nz and Facebook page.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website