COVID-19 Update: Māori Response Action Plan released and news about Alert Level 3

17 Apr 2020

Kia whakapūahorangi aku whakamānawa ki a Ihowa mōna nei ka manaaki i a tātou i tēnei wā taumaha nei. Ahakoa e noho pani ana ētahi, ko ētahi atu e māuiui ana, kia maumahara ake tātou, hei ākuanei tātou ka hoki anō ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama. Koirā te tūmanako kua tītia ki te whatumanawa kua tuhia ki te rae.  

Tēnā rā tātou katoa,
We are three weeks into Alert Level 4 and so far, we are doing well. I have been encouraged by the number of new cases announced daily because it shows that our approach is working.
Although things are going well, we haven’t won yet and we don’t know when we will move to Level 3. If we move too early, we will go backwards in our fight against COVID-19.
We must continue to remain vigilant to ensure our whānau stay safe and protected. If we all do our bit, and we break the chain of transmission, we will slow the spread of COVID-19.

Case Updates
Overnight, our total number of cases increased by 15 to a new total of 1,401 confirmed and probable cases in Aotearoa – 118 of those cases are Māori.
Since the outbreak started 770 people have recovered. Twelve cases have been hospitalised, three of those are in intensive care. Sadly, nine people have passed away. My aroha and thoughts continue to be with the whānau pani. Mā te Atua rātou e poipoi i tēnei wā taumaha hārukiruki.  
You can find more detailed information about current cases on our website here.

Key updates:
·        Initial Māori Response Action Plan released
Today we publicly released the Initial COVID-19 Māori Response Action Plan. This plan establishes a framework to ensure the health and wellbeing of Māori is protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the plan online here. The plan is a living document that will evolve and adapt to the COVID-19 response as it progresses.  It sets out a strategic approach and suite of actions that the COVID-19 response can adopt to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi and support the achievement of Māori health equity.
The purpose of the plan is to describe the actions that will be triggered or considered across the health and disability system to prevent and manage the spread of COVID-19.
The plan is aligned with the framework and content of the COVID-19 Health and Disability System Response Plan and contributes to the various actions underway to protect, prevent and manage the spread and transmission of COVID-19 within Māori communities. This ensures that the COVID-19 response for Māori is integrated across the broader health and disability system response.
The Māori Response Action Plan also makes an important contribution to the all-of-government response to COVID-19 in mitigating the social impact of COVID-19 on whānau Māori.  
I want to reiterate that this plan is a living document subject to change. As with our other advice and guidelines, this plan will evolve as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
My team will continue to work with Māori health experts and iwi leaders to ensure this plan is responsive, relevant and effective. I will update you as the plan changes.
If you have any pātai on this plan, please get in touch with me or my team.
·        More information on Alert Level 3 released
Earlier today, the Prime Minister released more detail about what life will be like at Level 3, and Level 2. You can read this information online here.
At Level 3, there will still be restrictions on workplaces, schools and gatherings to make sure New Zealand continues to win the fight against COVID-19.
The Prime Minister has indicated that we will not risk going to Alert Level 3 too early. We will move when we have met four criteria:
·        We know that community transmission is under control, and the transmission rate is very low.
·        We have robust measures at the border stopping new infection.
·        We have tracing and testing capacity to shut down any new outbreak.
·        We have supplies for, and capacity, in the health system.
It is vital that everyone knows we are still under Alert Level 4, and all Alert Level 4 restrictions remain in place.
Nō reira, kia kaha tonu tātou – he noho kāinga, he oranga tangata, stay home, save lives.

Please can you help:
1.        Ensure your provider networks know about these COVID-19 updates.
2.        Disseminate information through your local networks to ensure our communities know the updated advice and how to keep themselves safe following good public health hygiene practices.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or my team at: maorihealth@health.govt.nz
Kia maringi iho te tōmairangi atawhai o te Atua ki runga i a koutou.
Nāhaku me aku mihi aroha,
 
John Whaanga

Deputy Director-General | Māori Health Directorate
Waea pūkoro:
021 578 040  | Īmēra: John.Whaanga@health.govt.nz