Reconnecting Māori in a post-COVID-19 world: A blessing in disguise

Dianne Wepa, Rosemary Smith, Laura Gemmell

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Connectedness for Māori (Indigenous people of New Zealand) is considered a protective factor that maintains hauora (good health) and contributes to holistic wellbeing. A scoping review of the literature was conducted to examine how Māori maintained connectedness during COVID-19. Key themes identified were the digital divide, cultural isolation and revival of traditional practices. Māori methodology and qualitative design involved 10 individual interviews and two hui (gatherings) face-to-face and online with members of Ngāti Kahungunu (an East Coast tribe descended from the eponymous ancestor Kahungunu) from New Zealand to explore how they maintained connectedness during COVID-19. Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis identified the following three themes: The digital divide, the pandemic seen as blessing in disguise and preventing marae (traditional meeting places) from becoming white elephants. The findings of this study will assist the community to develop a bigger project and implement protective factors to remain connected beyond physical space and place.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)873-881
Number of pages9
JournalAlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples
Issue number4
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


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