NPM continues to advance our Ngā Pae Tautoko COVID-19 Programme of research activities to contribute to our understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on Māori, and to develop preventative strategies. The work of our research community has been, and continues to be critical to addressing the challenges of COVID-19 and beyond, as we learn to negotiate our ‘new normal’. As part of our Tautoko Strategy, NPM is committed to ensuring that our researchers have a platform for communicating their expertise and insights into COVID-19 and the wider implications it may have on whānau.

Consequently, in January 2021 NPM added a further 11 research activities to be advanced by 13 Māori researchers. The activities will document, interrogate and communicate significant COVID-19 prevention strategies and messages for current and future generations. The final outputs of the research activities will comprise a compilation of creative works that can be memorialized to produce a galvanizing effect in the future, should our tuhanga once again encounter the challenges that we now face.




For further information:

Using #COVID_19Indigenous_World to connect the Indigenous World



  • Read --> Dr Claire Charter's opinion piece in The Spinoff. The Covid-19 era is like a fast-moving picture which perpetually develops and re-develops. The picture adjusts with ever-changing information on the relevant health-science, the impact on the economy, the need for restrictions on movement, and the openness of our borders into the future. Where does our rock, New Zealand’s constitutional foundation, te Tiriti o Waitangi fit in all of this? Right in the centre, together with He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Law professor Dr Claire Charters (Ngati Whakaue, Tuwharetoa, Nga Puhi and Tainui) lays out Aotearoa’s dual legal systems and the government’s obligations to both in these uncertain times.

  • Who has the authority to make decisions, especially in times of emergency? Our elected representatives and their officials assume it’s them, writes Kerensa Johnston, but the further you get from Lambton Quay and the so-called corridors of power, the less this holds true.  Read Kerensa's full article in E-Tangata.

    Kerensa Johnston (Ngāti Tama, Ngāruahine and Ngāti Whāwhakia) is the chief executive of Wakatū Incorporation, based in Nelson. She has a commercial and legal background, specialising in Māori legal development, constitutional law and international law. Kerensa is the chair of the board of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, the Māori Centre of Research Excellence and a member of the International Association of Corporate Counsel, Corporate Lawyers’ New Zealand, and Te Hunga Roia, the Māori Law Society.

  • Read --> A situation report from Dr Vanessa Lee (Yupungathi and Meriam Nation) of the University of Sydney raising concern about the increased police presence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities during the COVID19 crisis.


  • Associate Professor Krushil Watene (Ngāti Manu, Te Hikutu, Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, Tonga) specialises in moral and political philosophies of well-being, development, and justice with a particular focus on indigenous philosophies. In her piece in "The Conversation", Krushil reflects on the fact that "our well-being is intimately connected to other people and our natural environment". Maori and Indigenous peoples around the globe have long known this. Once beyond our present constraints "...we can’t afford to stop caring about collective well-being.

  • WATCH --> Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki being interviewed by NPM Board member Scotty Morrison of Te Karere. Waikaremoana discusses why the resources prepared to provide support during COVID-19 Aotearoa/New Zealand State of Emergency do not hit the mark for Māori.

  • WATCH--> Dr Rebecca Wirihana talking about the process of 'containment' in healing during COVID-19 Alert level 4 Aotearoa/New Zealand State of Emergency. Rebecca is a Māori Clinical Psychologist currently based at the Northland District Health Board working in the Community Māori Mental Health Service.

  • Read --> a situation report from the Amerindian Support Network at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. The Amerindian Network connects with eight Mbya Guarani Tekoa and organize to broaden understanding of the different life contexts of indigenous communities both in and outside of Brazil, their struggle for human and civil rights, especially involving issues concerning land demarcation, differentiated education and health.  Faced with the crisis of COVID-19, this report summarises selected news items regarding the situation of different communities and indigenous peoples in Brazil. At the end of this piece, some critical challenges based on ongoing conversations with the Mbya Guarani people are summarised.

    Photo credit: Danilo Silva Guimarães & Rafaela Waddington Achatz. Students outside the House of Indigenous Peoples, University of São Paulo

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been taking hold of our Indigenous communities, nations and lives. To our Indigenous friends worldwide, we reach out to connect, to weep for spirits passed, to acknowledge our concern for each other and to be warmed by your gaze.  We are devastated by the death toll the pandemic is extracting across the globe yet strengthened by the brave leadership demonstrated by Indigenous leaders to protect and sustain our communities. It is a time for cool heads, swift action and confident resolve. Let us be strong together.

  • WATCH--> Dr Hinekura Smith (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Ati Awa) messaging to the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga MAI Te Kupenga Doctoral network on staying well during COVID-19 Alert level 4 Aotearoa/New Zealand State of Emergency.  Hinekura is NPM's Emerging Researchers’ Leader, providing national leadership and coordination of MAI Te Kupenga and developing and nurturing initiatives that contribute to the outcomes and objectives of NPM’s Capability and Capacity Strategy.

  • READ--> The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse (NZFVC) and researchers at Ngā Wai a Te Tūī launch the new Whare Māori portal to keep whānau and communities safe.