As the government shifts its focus from COVID-19 elimination to addressing the longer-term social and economic repercussions of the pandemic, it is critical that Māori are able to partner and lead in decision-making. In the new normal of a post-COVID Aotearoa, the transformational vision of just
relationships set out by Matike Mai is more relevant than ever. Responses that do not locate Māori at their centre will maintain, or deepen, the inequities that existed prior to the pandemic. To meet the challenges ahead, we need to draw on Aotearoa’s dual knowledge systems and the richness of mātauranga Māori. Rather than a centralised, top-down approach, we need diverse sources of expertise, experience and leadership, with communities as the locus of decision-making, orientation and direction of recovery.