April 22, 2022
Covid response harder on tamariki Māori
A childhood anthropologist says tamariki Māori have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Julie Spray, a research fellow in Auckland University’s School of Population Health, got tamariki to draw comics as a way of getting them to open up about their feelings and experiences.
She says the official pandemic response has been very pākehā, such as the bubble policy which assumed a traditional nuclear family living in one household.
There was also a digital divide, with Māori households having less access to technology for learning remotely, and much less individual space inside and outside the house.
“In Māori whānau, resources tend to be It’s more dispersed throughout the whānau, a collective sharing of resources rather than having resources centred in one nuclear family and in one household, so the way we restructured society to protect ourselves from the virus did have disproportionate impacts on Māori,” Dr Spray says.
She found a lot of kids were really sad, lonely and bored because of the restrictions of the past two years.