Whare Māori Portal to support whānau during lockdown

By D'Angelo Martin
Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae, Unitec - Photo / Unitec

With COVID restrictions in place across the country and Govt emphasising the importance of social isolation, the demand for Māori communities to be heard has resulted in the development of a new online resource.

Created by New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse and Ngā Wai o Te Tūī - Unitecs' Māori and Indigenous Research Centre, the Whare Māori Portal provides COVID-19 violence prevention information and alternatives to support whānau.

Te Rihi Te Nana, a senior researcher from Ngā Wai o Te Tūī, says, "Instead of focusing more on the research and findings of family harm and violence within whānau Māori, we looked more towards a solution-based approach." 

Police have reported that domestic violence rates have spiked during the Level 4 lockdown - as much as a 20 percent increase in DV cases on the first Sunday after the lockdown, March 29, in comparison to the three Sundays previous.

Researcher Rihi Te Nana and Professor Jenny Lee Morgan - Photo / Supplied

"Domestic violence is a huge issue within our country and when you are in spaces where you can't move because Government has apposed this on us with COVID-19, then that pressure begins to compound," says Te Nana.

Since June 2019, Ngā Wai ā Te Tūī and NZFVC have worked together intensively.

The outcomes have developed into a large and relevant framework of kaupapa Māori research that examines historical and inter-generational trauma and the effects of sexual, domestic abuse on whānau, hapū, and iwi.

"If you are inside your bubble and it is not safe then what do you do? What's your exit plan? There is information that gives people an understanding of what people can do to engage with looking after themselves, you know what alternatives are there to blowing off steam!" Te Nana explains.

The Whare Māori portal is available on NZFVC website.