April 06, 2020
Maori shine in emergency setting
Māori Party president Che Wilson says the way Māori have stepped up to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to traditional structures.
Mr Wilson, who is a leader within central North Island iwi Ngāti Rangi, says iwi leaders, urban Māori organisations, the Māori Council, whānau ora providers and other Māori organisations are all talking together as they develop responses to a fast-moving situation.
He says Māori are good in emergencies because they don’t have the bureaucracy that slows down councils and government agencies.
"We have a model that's been working for centuries and it's called tangihanga. That model ensures we can operate in an emergency immediately. We put all our bias down, and that happens at the pā, you have families that don't get on, but as soon as the tangi call goes out, they are there to help," he says.
Che Wilson says to help people get through the lockdown, he is presenting nightly talks on his social media channel on tupuna wisdom, covering issues such as karakia and whakapapa, which are getting a positive reaction.
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