STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINE: Essential workers during COVID-19

We are living in difficult times. COVID-19 has forced children out of schools, elderly into further isolation and most significantly, it has exposed the crippling social inequalities that the most vulnerable in our communities have endured for far too long. While the rest of New Zealand are on lockdown, essential workers are sacrificing time away from their loved ones to ensure that the country runs smoothly and safely. This mini series aims to raise awareness, encourage hope and honour our people working on the frontline during COVID-19. 

Luana Michael is a Manager and Funeral Director for Ese Tatupu Funeral Services. Luana shares advice on taking care of loved ones during this difficult time. 

The funeral industry is an essential business to our community. It falls under the ‘Mortuary Services’ catergory outlined by the NZ Ministry Of Health. This is very important to all cultures, religions and beliefs in our country, especially when a death occurs. The deceased person still needs to be looked after. 

We have processes, procedures and practical systems in place to keep our community safe when visiting our funeral home. My family are aware that the work we do is important and essential on all levels to our community when it involves death. 

Look after our elderly family members. Listen to the advice from our leaders. It is to protect you, your family, and friends. Importantly it’s to save your life and the lives of others. This pandemic will eventually die down if we all follow the directives by our Government. Thank you for reading this. Look after yourselves and take care.


0800REFUGE- Women’s Refuge
0508FAMILY- Oranga Tamariki (Reports of concern for children’s safety)
0508 744 633- SHINE
0800 787 797- Alcohol and drug helpline
0800 543 354 or free text 4357- Lifeline
0800 376 633 - Youthline
0800 111 757 Depression Helpline
0508 828 865 Suicide Prevention Helpline


Esther Tuhua-Walker

Amein to that. May ADONAI protect you and Jono, and Ese and his fanau at this time. Thank you for continuing to do your part during this pandemic. We need to remember that Funeral Directors and their business is an Essential part of NZ before, during and after this pandemic. We appreciate what you are all doing. God bless ❤️


Thanks for your tireless and much loving concern for the victims of covid-19 and other deaths that you really cared for. I need more of encouragements and the best possible ways you can share for me apart of what you already shared.Shalom

Beth Hunt

Not enough recognition has been given to those working in mortuary services. Must be very stressful, both physically and mentally.Kudos to you all.


The message is very simple and life sqving. Much appreciated you time in sharing this vital and life saving message. We’ll spelt put.

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