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. This paper describes these initiatives as mahi aroha and argues that housing is a foundation from which Māori go out into the world and add meaning and quality to the lives of others. If the mahi aroha of Māori during a lockdown or other crisis is to be sustained into the future, then access to quality, affordable housing must be ensured for Māori essential workers.