Community resilience demonstrated through a Te Ao Māori (Ngāti Manawa) lens: The Rāhui
Keywords:Murupara Ng?ti Manawa, pandemic response, tikanga, r?hui, checkpoints, Covid-19
INTRODUCTION: This research project is associated with a small rural community utilising the Te Ao Māori (Ngāti Manawa) understanding of Rāhui, as a means of decreasing the possibility of negative impacts for their mostly Māori population, during the Covid-19 pandemic that was experienced in March 2020 in Aotearoa New Zealand. Rāhui is a conservation measure shrouded in tapu designed to limit, restrict or prevent access to the natural environment. For example, Te Wao Tapu nui a Tāne protecting in the process the mauri of our rivers, lakes, streams following a mishap or misfortune such as a drowning. Equally as important, Rāhui was used as a proactive means of conservation.
METHOD: Using mixed methods, this study highlights both positive and challenging experiences in the statistical and thematic analysis that may inform future public health planning for the inevitable and ongoing effects of pandemic responses in Aotearoa New Zealand which are potentially transportable beyond Aotearoa New Zealand.
IMPLICATIONS: This research identified how Nga ̄ti Manawa of Murupara, utilised Rāhui as a mechanism of resilience in order to keep local residents thriving and healthy during and after the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown by setting up checkpoints on the borders of their rohe, and restricting the vehicle and human traffic into Murupara. Support for the Rāhui was significant from five hapū leaders and from the community survey illuminating a sense of safety that the checkpoints offered to a vulnerable and mostly Māori rural community.
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