COVID-19 insights series Exercising rangatiratanga during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: May 2023

Te Hiringa Mahara has produced a series of short reports during 2022 and 2023 to add our collective understanding of the wellbeing impacts of the pandemic and to provide key insights on wellbeing areas or populations of focus.

Exercising rangatiratanga during the COVID-19 pandemic

This report elevates how rangatiratanga was exercised throughout the pandemic. It shows that Māori have always had the knowledge and skills to support the wellbeing of their whānau and communities.

Māori wellbeing is often referred to as being collective, and exercising rangatiratanga (self-determination, sovereignty, independence, autonomy) is a contributor to a range of positive wellbeing outcomes for iwi, hapū, and whanau.

In the face of COVID-19, Māori didn’t just respond, they built on work already done in a way that was grounded in tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori; built on established networks and relationships; and were agile and adaptive.

Māori-led initiatives shared culturally-appropriate information and resources that protected the health and wellbeing of communities; and supported connection with individuals and whānau.

For improved future health and wellbeing outcomes, we recommend effective government support can be optimised when Māori responses are trusted, acted upon, and enabled through the realignment of wellbeing system processes. We thus call on the government to provide sustained support and resources to Māori to continue to deliver for their communities.

Read other reports in the Covid-19 insights series