The wellbeing of Māori pre and post Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa / New Zealand

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University of Auckland
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The first MIFAS survey was open between September and December 2017, and round two went out between April and November 2020. Round 2 MIFAS data collection occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa New Zealand. Round two MIFAS respondents were experiencing a variety of lockdown levels at the time they were completing their surveys. During the highest lockdown level (Level 4), New Zealanders were asked not to leave their homes other than for essential personal movement. New Zealanders were asked to form “bubbles” and stay within them (small groups of people, typically close family members, who would be the only people in close contact for the period of lockdown). Except for essential services, including hospitals, essential health clinics, supermarkets and pharmacies, all businesses were closed, as were schools and universities, and childcare facilities. During Level 3, people were instructed to stay home other than for essential personal movement, including to go to work or school if they have to, or for local recreation. When outside of the home, physical distancing was required (i.e. distanced one metre from other people) in schools and workplaces. People were allowed to expand their contacts to reconnect with close family/whānau and bring in caregivers or support isolated people. In Levels 1–2, restrictions loosened; however, life was still not normal, and people were asked to exercise social distancing and caution. To explore the mental, relational, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing of Māori during and after the COVID-19 lockdowns in Aotearoa, the MIFAS team took the opportunity to include a range of open-ended survey items in the MIFAS survey to provide respondents with the opportunity to tell us how they were feeling and what they were experiencing during and after the lockdown. The MIFAS open-ended items included the following four questions. 1. Please indicate here how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you and your whānau. 2. How do you think the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic should change us as a society? 3. Who has supported you to stay safe and well during the level 3 and 4 “lockdown” period in New Zealand? 4. What support do you think Māori families will need once the level 4 lockdown requirements have been lifted?” A total of 3,116 Māori responded with completed surveys and answered some (or all) of the open- ended questions. The data gathered includes details of what was happening in people’s homes and lives over this unprecedented time in our history. Some surveys were completed during level 4 lockdown, and others responded once this was lifted, and during levels 3, 2 and 1. It is very clear from their answers that many families found these restrictions incredibly challenging. Yet, others found lockdown a regenerating time for themselves and their whānau. To analyse the data, all responses to the 3116 surveys were manually typed into excel spreadsheets (except from the online survey responses which were directly cut and pasted from their online responses into the excel format). Respondents’ unique numerical identifiers were retained with each answer (to ensure each answer was kept traceable to the correct survey) however like with all MIFAS data analyses all personal information was separated from the surveys before research assistants received any data. This means there was no way that research assistants, or indeed anyone in the MIFAS research team, could see the names or details of who wrote each comment. This report provides a snapshot of their responses to each of the four open ended questions above.
To cite: Houkamau, C.A., Dell, K., Newth, J., Mika, J.P., Sibley, C.G., Keelan, T., & Dunn, T. (2021). The wellbeing of Māori pre and post Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa / New Zealand.
Māori identity, Māori wellbeing, Covid-19, Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori enterprise, Māori entrepreneurship, whānau
The wellbeing of Māori pre and post Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa / New Zealand, 2021, pp. 1 - 31 (32)