The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in some significant changes in tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand. This situation report identifies the current situation and the issues and challenges for social work degree students at the Eastern Institute of Technology’s campuses in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti. The report highlights the resilience of tauira in these challenging times. It also proposes a way forward for future learning that supports tikanga and the diverse needs and realities of tauira.
This situation report outlines some of the literature about conspiracy theories and its application to Māori during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report shows that while there are some psychological factors at play with regard to vulnerability to conspiracy theories, it appears that issues around power and powerlessness are most applicable to Māori, given our historical and political context. The report also advocates for a manaakitanga-informed approach to dealing with whānau who are disseminating conspiracy theories.
Interviews with stakeholders in deprived Hawke’s Bay schools early in the COVID-19 lockdown documented exacerbated food insecurity among school whānau. Our enquiry highlights the support role played by well-informed teacher aides and school–whānau networks, which were easily and inexpensively resourced, intuitive, proactive and collaborative, ensuring whānau access to appropriate support according to need. We expect our findings to further inform such initiatives in any further lockdown.
The effects of the COVID-19 lockdown and physical distancing were broad, impacting multiple sectors, particularly health, for Māori and Indigenous peoples. This situation report considers health and well-being using Te Whare Tapa Whā, and looks at the experiences and voices of kuia and koroheke—considered to be at high risk of contracting coronavirus—to better understand their health and well-being impacts from physical distancing. This report then reflects on these experiences to identify how help groups can best support communities in future lockdown situations.
The Covid-19 lockdown over March to May 2020 meant households became their own “bubbles”, with residents physically interacting only with those in their household and staying close to home. Māori leaders recognised the potential of the lockdown to exacerbate whānau vulnerability due to confinement, financial hardship and, depending on their household, issues of crowding or isolation. Steps were quickly taken to support households with care packages, health care and social connectivity.