COVID-19 insights series Wellbeing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: June 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.

Wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 pandemic

This eighth (and final) report draws on the previous seven reports in the COVID-19 series, and wider research to highlight the wellbeing impacts of the pandemic, and to learn from them.

The report found that many of the challenges people faced in the pandemic were not new, but that the pandemic and its effects on communities exacerbated and amplified many existing inequities in mental health and wellbeing outcomes, and in accessing services and supports.

In the face of challenges presented by the pandemic, iwi, hapū, and whānau Māori exercised rangatiratanga, providing practical support for themselves and others through the pandemic in a uniquely Māori way. Many communities across Aotearoa engaged in opportunities to improve wellbeing for themselves and others. This was supported by connectedness and belonging, clear leadership, innovative practices, and collaboration with and between services and government agencies.

The report makes recommendations around wellbeing moving forward, particularly that it be supported by decision-makers and government agencies:

  • listening to and trusting communities to do what’s best;
  • investing in communities and social infrastructure supporting wellbeing; and
  • seeking to better understand the experiences of different communities in Aotearoa.

Note: This final paper does not evaluate the Government’s COVID-19 response – rather it highlights the shared and unique wellbeing impacts of the pandemic, for people who experience greater barriers to wellbeing across Aotearoa.

Read other reports in the COVID-19 insights series