Mana and kaitiakitanga capture the relationships essential to Māori perceptions of wellbeing. These relationships reflect the interconnectedness and interdependence of humans with the people, places and things in their worlds, and the responsibilities associated with these relationships. Mana is critical for mokopuna, as is the requirement to action it, through kaitiakitanga (Marsden, 2003; Paul-Burke & Rameka, 2015). Kaitiakitanga recognises the place of humans, including mokopuna, to assume guardianship roles and responsibilities.
Giving voice to kaumātua perspectives and experiences, and those of older people in general, during the COVID-19 pandemic has been rare because older people are more often spoken about than provided with opportunities to speak for themselves. When they have been spoken about, the focus has been on their vulnerability. While such vulnerabilities are a critical concern, this focus ignored their active participation in and contributions to their communities.