May 12, 2023
Māori networks helped Covid response
A new report on the Māori response to the Covid-19 pandemic says they called on time-honoured practices and exercised rangatiratanga to keep their communities safe.
Maraea Johns, the director of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Te Hiringa Mahara, says tikanga and kawa made their ability to reach people and share information more effectively.
They were able to mobilise quickly because of existing structures.
“Marae komiti, whanau hapu, even iwi adapted our tikanga and kawa to develop tailored pandemic plans, for example in regards to our tangihanga processes. The national Maori pandemic response group of health experts was established. Then we had the checkpoints that were invaluable for communicating information and working with government agencies and communities to also hep minimise spread of Covid to other rohe,” Ms Johns says.
She says using whanau, hapu and iwi networks to distribute critical information helps to counter disinformation.