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 overwhelmed, uncertain and stressed. Help and support is there if you need it.

Alert level changes

We are a team of 5 million and it's hard to hear about community transmission and changing alert levels across Aotearoa. There are plans in place for this happening and action is being taken to keep us safe.

We've dealt with COVID-19 before and we can do it again. We've got this!

More information on Alert Levels

Keeping the four walls strong in your whare

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 the health and wellbeing of our whānau.

Here are a few ways you can look after yourself and others during this time:

  • You’re helping! Keep doing your part to help protect your community.
  • 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 can be applied now.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hikitia Te Hā is a series of simple te ao Māori breathing exercises that anyone can learn. Focusing on our breathing calms the body and mind, and is a very helpful practice for feeling more present and mindful. Follow the video and steps here.
  • Seek out accurate, reliable and up-to-date information from trusted sources backed by experts. For access to high quality information, the New Zealand Government’s Unite against COVID-19 website focuses on what we can all do to help the country recover from COVID-19.

Kaumātua, people with disabilities or long-term health conditions and people with limited access to transport may be especially concerned at the moment. You can help by reassuring them that help is available, by letting them know who they can contact for help and by sharing information on the alert levels

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:

For kaumātua in the Hamilton area who would like to receive support, please contact Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust on 0800 33 33 59 or

For whānau Māori with lived experience, Te Kete Pounamu have a phone service available between the hours of 8am to 10pm. Please contact 0800 POUNAMU. They also have regular zoom hui so please make contact through their 0800 number. You can also message them on or text on 021 751 256.

For whānau in the Manurewa area, please contact Manurewa Marae on 09 267 8768. Someone will return your call within 24 hours.   

For whānau in Northland, including kaumātua and those with long-term health conditions, please contact Te Hau Ora o Ngapuhi on 0800 NGAPUHI (0800 642 7844).

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. 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.
  • 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 may be 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.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as cold or flu symptoms, contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor to find out if you need a test. If you are offered a test for COVID-19, please take it. A COVID-19 test is free of charge. However, you may need to pay for a test if it's for the purpose of entering another country.

Visit the Ministry of Health’s website for more information about COVID-19 assessment and testing.


There are many people and whānau currently experiencing financial hardship because of job losses or a drop in income. This is unsettling and worrying. 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 income relief 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.

Download the NZ COVID Tracer app

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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