COVID-19 support for Māori

COVID-19 support for Māori

E ngā mana, E ngā reo, E ngā karangatanga maha, nau mai, whakatau mai rā.


He waka eke noa – We are all in this together, as one whānau ā ngā hau e whā and we are not alone.

Tenei whārangi ipurangi

Tēnā koutou. This page has been set up to help our Māori whānau in the battle against the spread of COVID-19 and to provide support during this time.

It is important for us to remember that as a people tangata Māori have had to endure attacks upon our wellbeing many times, and we have endured, and even grown stronger in many ways. We have proven many times that we are a very resilient people.

It is, however, normal to feel worried and out of sorts sometimes, and help and support is there if you need it.

We have united against COVID-19. Alert level 2 means the disease is contained, but the risk of infection remains. We have more freedom and must continue to take care to protect our communities and Aotearoa.

What you can do at Alert Level 2

  • You can safely move out of your bubble to reconnect and socialise with whānau and friends – but keep groups to a maximum of 10 people.
  • People can visit you at home but gatherings of whānau and friends must be limited to 10 people. The Government will review this number on Rāhina 25 Haratua 2020/Monday 25 May 2020.
  • Keeping gatherings small limits the risk of the disease spreading.
  • You can return to work if you agree with your employer it is safe to do so.
  • Universities and polytechs, schools and early learning centres will be open.
  • You can resume exercising customary rights to gather kaimoana, as well as hunting on public conservation land and duck hunting (opening day is Rāhoroi 23 Haratu/Saturday 23 May).
  • You can visit your favourite restaurants and cafes and bars (if the bar is serving food), and go in-store at local businesses again. Remember, your group must be smaller than 10 people.
  • You can do your usual exercise, sport and recreation activities such as walking, biking, swimming, boating and going to the gym. There might be some restrictions on some of these activities.
  • Travel between regions for work or leisure is allowed – you should keep a record of where you have been and who you’ve seen so, if needed, health workers can reach people quickly who might have been exposed to COVID-19.

Kia haumaru te mahi! Play it safe for you and your hapori

We know that COVID-19 spreads through close contact. While you have more freedom to get out and about at Alert level 2, COVID-19 is still out there so there are some things you can do to help keep yourself safe:

  • Keep your distance from other people when you’re out in public (ideally 2 metres).
  • Take extra care if you’re interacting with people you don’t know. This might be at places like playgrounds, parks, shopping malls or walking along the street.
  • Horoia o ringa – wash your hands. Avoid touching surfaces and wash your hands before and after you leave home. Make it part of the ritual – keys, wallet … wash hands.
  • Regularly disinfect any surfaces that you touch often like keys, handrails and phones.
  • Avoid passing around your mobile phone to other people.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to school, university or work. Don’t socialise.
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu, call your doctor or Healthline (0800 358 5453) and get tested for COVID-19.

Tangihanga and kawe/hari mate

In Aotearoa and across the world we have seen that COVID-19 can be spread more easily and quickly when groups of people gather together. Tangihanga and funerals create a particular risk because of the amount of physical connection when people are grieving

  • For tangihanga and kawe/hari mate, up to 50 people will be allowed at Alert Level 2.
  • Gatherings are limited to 10 people under Alert level 2. But from Rāpare 14 Haratua/Thursday 14 May, funeral directors can apply for dispensation to allow up to 50 people to attend a tangihanga or funeral, as long as the Ministry of Health is satisfied that a range of public health measures can be consistently met.
  • This is a temporary measure that will be reviewed on Rāhina 25 Haratua/Monday 25 May 2020.
  • Find out more detailed guidance about Tangihanga and kawe/hari mate.

Keeping the four walls strong in your whare

One model for understanding Māori health is the concept of ‘te whare tapa whā’ – the four walls of Māori health. The symbol of the wharenui illustrates the four dimensions of Māori well-being – mental, social, spiritual and physical. If one of those walls is weak or damaged, then a person may become ‘unbalanced’ and subsequently unwell.

By nurturing and strengthening each wall in our whare, we support our health and wellbeing, as well as well as the health and wellbeing of our whānau.

Here are a few suggested ways we can look after ourselves and others during this time:

  • Remind yourself that this is temporary and we will get through it.
  • You’re helping! Keep doing your part to help protect our community.
  • It’s important to stay connected with friends, whānau and others.
  • Staying connected means you can help each other, look out for each other’s wellbeing or just be there for each other
  • You may have experienced hard times before. You could think about the strengths that got you through these and how they could be applied at this time.
  • Eat healthy food and drinks and keep regular sleep routines.
  • Stay active. Do activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. This could be exercising, building something, singing, gardening, cooking.
  • If you think karakia could help you, Te Pīhopatanga o Te Taitokerau is live at 8am each morning on Facebook. If you can’t get to church in person the Anglican Diocese of Auckland has a list of services that are available online.
  • Regional or local marae might be able to help you with things like connecting with others and kai packs as well as information about social services.

Ngā kaiāwhina / People who can help

Many organisations and people in your community realise it is a difficult time right now. These services are free and easy to access, for you and your whānau, and they include many kaupapa Māori organisations:

In addition to the above, if you, or your whānau require any health services, these are still available as well.

  • Health and medical facilities are open. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline, GPs, cancer services, disability, and aged support services.
  • The way these services operate might change, for example, your GP might offer a phone or video conference consultation rather than see you in person, so give them a call or send them an email first.
  • Contact one of the organisations at the end of this page as they have specific advice and clinicians on hand to provide advice or point you in the right direction.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 please contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (or international +64 9 358 5453).
  • If you are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (dial 111).
  • If you’re feeling down or depressed let someone you trust know. Don’t keep these feelings to yourself. There are people who can and want to help. If you want to talk to a professional a good start maybe your doctor, or you can call the Depression Helpline about how you are feeling or to ask a question: 0800 111 757 or text 4202.

Pūtea / Financial

It is understood that there are many people and whānau experiencing financial hardship, there have been job loss or a drop in income. This is unsettling and worrying for many. But, the Government is acting to support New Zealanders through these changes, and there is help and support available. This includes:

  • a wage subsidy scheme 
  • leave and self-isolation support 
  • business cash flow and tax measures. 

If you receive a benefit, this will continue, as usual. Find out more about COVID-19 support, including how to apply on the Work and Income website.

Whakatau. Whakamana. Whakakotahi.

E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi

He toa takitini

My strength is not mine alone

But the strength of many

Remember that you and your whānau are not alone at these times, and there are many other people and whānau out there in similar situations. There are people and organisations out there wanting to help if you need it. Also, remember that as Māori we know how to be strong and resilient. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou, nāku noa, na.

Long-term health conditions

If you have a long-term health condition you may be more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. Stay informed with up-to-date, relevant and credible information from our partners.

Gatherings, events, and public venues

The Government has announced an increase to gathering numbers from 12 noon Friday 29 May.

Upcoming changes to gathering numbers

Download the NZ COVID Tracer app

Mobile app coming soon

Download available here:

The quicker we can contact people who might have come into contact with COVID-19, the quicker we can stop the spread of the virus.

Here’s how you can help support contact tracing

  • Sign up today
  • Share your up-to-date contact information
  • Scan NZ COVID Tracer posters to keep track of where you’ve been
  • Ask your whānau, friends and workmates to join in

Don't have a smartphone?

You can still register online to share your latest contact information.

For more information, head to

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