Māori now make up the highest number of cases since Covid-19 arrived in Aotearoa

By Contributor

By Māori Covid-19 Analyst Dr Rawiri Taonui, in partnership with Te Ao Māori News.


As the total number of Delta cases passed the 7,000 mark, a total of 204 new Delta cases were reported on November 22. Most new cases are in Auckland and the steady rise of new cases in the Waikato (20), Northland (4), Bay of Plenty (5) and Lakes (1) is a considerable concern.

Māori comprise 105 of these new cases and the highest number of cases for the 50th consecutive day. The total number of Māori has now passed the 3,000 mark.

The full Māori vaccination rate in each of these District Health Board regions ranges between 40% - 60% and the risk of transmission into other low-Māori vaccination DHBs is high, particularly when the Auckland border opens on December 15.

Māori Deaths

Six Māori have now died from COVID-19. The ministry of health says a man in his 40s died at Middlemore Hospital on Monday.

The Māori death rate is 1 in 138 resolved cases (either recovered or died) and this is 20% higher than the national death rate of 1 in 173 resolved cases.

It’s known that three of the Māori deaths were men aged 40 – 50 years. This corresponds with the risk profile of Māori including underlying health conditions and younger.

Māori are 3.7 times more likely to catch Delta, 2.3 times more likely to suffer severe sickness and be hospitalised, and 3.1 times more likely to die from Delta.

Total Covid-19 Cases

In another milestone, total Covid-19 cases since February last year passed the 10,000 mark today.

On Monday, the total number of Māori cases since Covid-19 arrived in Aotearoa passed the total for Pākehā, making Māori the highest impacted demographic. As of today, there have been 3,249 Māori Covid-19 cases compared to 3,153 Pākehā.

Milestones for Māori

September 22: Auckland moves from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3.

  • September 29: Māori passed demographic reaching 16.9% of all cases.
  • September 30: Māori cases pass the combined total of Pākehā, Asian and MELAA.
  • October 5: Māori became the highest number of active cases.

October 7: Auckland moves to Alert Level 3 Step 1.

  • Māori surge leads to 50 consecutive days Māori highest cases.
  • November 2: Māori pass Pacific Peoples as the ethnicity with the highest number of cases.

November 11: Auckland moves to Alert Level 3 Step 2.

  • Māori cases top 100 per day for seven days.
  • Māori more than 50% of all new cases every day since 11 November.
  • November 21: Māori cases pass Pākehā cases as highest cases since the Covid-19 pandemic reached New Zealand in February last year.

Projecting case numbers to Christmas

Projecting the current 7-day rate of daily and Māori cases there will be 13,200 total cases in the Delta outbreak by Christmas, 6,400 of which will be Māori.

This projection is marginally lower than last week due to a lull in cases below 190 per day over the last six days. But this may well be the calm before the storm that begins on December 15.

Kia haumaru te noho, stay safe.

Dr Rawiri Taonui.