MINISTRY OF HEALTH LATEST UPDATE:   Māori tikanga and gatherings

Advice on tikanga Māori and gatherings during COVID-19. 9 (UDPATED 2 APRIL)

COVID-19, Kua rāhui te motu:

Planning events 
Many groups including kapa haka groups, sports teams, whānau, hapu, iwi and Māori organisations and marae committees have cancelled all upcoming events.
It is disappointing to have to cancel planned events, however, it is about doing what’s right to protect our people and our guests – manaaki tangata, otirā manaaki manuhiri hoki.

Hongi and harirū 
We are all being asked to play our part to refrain from physical contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

COVID-19 can spread from person to person through physical contact. This will have an effect on particular areas of tikanga Māori including kawa.

In practice, this means suspending our customs of hongi and harirū, alongside stopping kissing, hugging and all other forms of close physical contact with people outside of your household.

Alternatives include waving, smiling or other non-physical contact greetings. 
Read advice for public events and mass gatherings on the Ministry of Health website

Tikanga Māori and gatherings at Alert Level 4
All indoor and outdoor events cannot proceed while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4.

We are asking you to only spend time with people in your household and keep your distance from all others at all times. This will help us stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our whānau, hapū and iwi, particularly those who are more vulnerable to illness such as our kaumātua – our koroua and kuia.

Gathering together for tangihanga is not permitted while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4. For Māori this means:

  • no public funeral services
  • no tangihanga at marae, funeral homes, churches and other venues
  • no private whānau tangihanga at home.

Bereaved families and whānau from all cultures and backgrounds will find this time challenging. This makes it even more important that we show each other kindness and caring, manaakitanga and aroha.

Guidelines for tangihanga during Alert Level 4 on the Ministry of Health website

Guidance on funerals, and where to go for more information

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