A koha emblazoned with the emblem of New Zealand Defence Force's Second Combat Services Support Battalion was gifted to Te Arawa this week.
The koha was in recognition of the iwi's support of the managed isolation facilities within Rotorua.
Gifted by New Zealand Defence Force's current officer in charge Major Mike Tatana, the koha is a symbol of appreciation for the support the New Zealand Defence Force and Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment have received from Te Arawa.
"Each week the major in charge of regional managed isolation operations meets with Te Arawa leaders to ensure they are well equipped with the knowledge of what is going on in the facilities within their rohe," Tatana said.
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"Our mahi is in no way over yet but this koha is a small appreciation to say thank you to the iwi for not only welcoming us but for entrusting us to run the operation at three of the hotels here."
Since June, the Sudima, Ibis and Rydges hotels have provided shelter for returning citizens to safely isolate.
About 75,000 have returned to Aotearoa, with 3500 completing their two-week managed isolation stay in Rotorua.
Te Arawa Covid-19 Response Hub lead Monty Morrison said it was important to have a seat at the table and speak transparently to ensure the community was well aware of what was happening in their backyard.
"We recognise that over 200 new jobs have been created for our locals due to the facilities, helping to prop up some of those who may have lost their employment due to the pandemic.
"We have personally manaakitanga our manuhiri to ensure they feel welcomed and supported while staying in our rohe. We hope they feel our warmth and we hope to see them again some day so they can explore our beautiful city."