Connecting Through COVID-19

March 3, 2022, 9:08 a.m.

When COVID-19 struck Tai Tokerau in March 2020, it left a large gap in communication and connection between local kuia, kaumātua and their community. Two years on, they are transitioning into a new digital age where accessing tools of communication, karakia and hui has never been easier. 

Barriers have been broken down to allow connectivity across marae, whānau, iwi and hapū roopu by using technology. Some kaumātua are getting quite confident by incorporating these sayings into their everyday korero;

“Ko zoomngia ngā hui katoa ināianei, zoom ki kō, zoom mai, zoom atu” says Matiu King.

Whether through karakia, holding AGMs, marae hui and even staff meetings. Education systems have also taken an innovative approach where learning has been taken online and classes are run through a camera lense. While a good short term approach to enabling connectivity, there is nothing better than kanohi te kanohi social interaction. However, for the time being that little extra patience with our kaumatua and kuia will do te ao wonders. Everyone needs connectivity and mid pandemic, technology helps us do that.

Mike Te Wake (Pou Aharau - Te Runanga o Te Rarawa) and Mary Henare (Marae Committee Member, Trustee - St Josephs Church, Treasurer - Waimanoni Marae) played a key role in developing these strategies for our whanau to stay connected amidst lockdowns and covid chaos. 

“The Tikanga doesn’t change, it doesn’t matter what platform - what technology we use, even today.” “Even if we were to meet face to face, the process is to hariru, well at the moment we’re not encouraging that, especially for our kuia and kaumatua” stated by Mary Henare.

Tags: Kuia Kaumatua Digital Platforms Connection Digital Zoom

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