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Harirū, hongi and hau in the time of COVID-19

13 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Marama Muru-Lanning
Dr Tia Dawes
Dr Hilary Lapsley
Professor Ngaire Kerse MNZM
Dr Suzanne Woodward
Health issue:
Proposal type:
COVID-19 Rapid Response Project
Lay summary
Kaumātua have important leadership responsibilities and enacting them in the context of COVID-19 will place them at increased risk. For this project, we will initiate an innovative dialogue using digital means with kaumātua and kuia around their concerns and reactions to COVID-19. We aim to discover how older Maori understand the tapu of the body and bodily fluids and how they are navigating the spread of viral transmission, in light of rapidly evolving advice and regulations regarding personal distancing (harirū, hongi and hau), self-isolation, and gatherings. We will use mobile (tablet) technology to communicate on a regular basis over six weeks with kaumātua in Ngātiwai and Waikato with whom we have well-established links. Discussion of our findings with participants in ongoing dialogue will lead to guidance for policy makers and public health in supporting Māori communities, and may also chart ways for future kanohi-ki-te-kanohi research.