Tāngata whaiora

Having the right support and tools for self-care is key to keeping our hauora well.

He kete whakaora Tools for self-care

 We all respond to COVID-19 differently, and it’s normal to feel a range of emotions. 

There are many kaupapa Māori tools to keep our mental and emotional hauora resilient in uncertain times.

Whare Tapa Whā – Tips for Self-Care


Take some time to pause and remember simple things that bring you joy.

You might find karakia helpful, or you could keep a gratitude journal.

Kaupapa Māori Breathing exercises are amazing at getting our wairua moving. Check out these exercises from Hikitia Te Hā.

Hikitia Te Ha with All Right?


Stay connected to whānau and friends. If you can’t see them in person, keep in contact by phone or social media.

If you are working, it’s a good idea to set some boundaries, so you can get quality uninterrupted time with your whānau. 

Set boundaries for your privacy and work too. If you are working at home, put on headphones for when you need to concentrate and don’t want to be interrupted


Look for opportunities and ways to connect with others. Kōrero about ways you can help each other and share the load.

Sometimes if you’re feeling emotional, identifying the emotions can help make them go away.

Giving to others can also increase your sense of happiness and wellbeing, and boost your mood, their mood and the moods of those around you.

If you are working from home, it helps to have a dedicated space that is just for work. Keep it tidy and organised so you can keep a clear head.

Remember to schedule in time to do the things that make you happy, like a walk in a park. Make time for being creative. You could also rediscover a favourite hobby or learn something new. 


Make sure you have good sleep and hygiene practices. Eat properly. Good nutrition will help with your immunity. Keep hydrated and make healthy snacks that you can eat later.

Stay warm and make sure to get outside for exercise and fresh air. Better yet, put your hands in the whenua and, if you have tamariki at home, get them involved too.

For more information about Te Whare Tapa Whā, visit the Ministry of Health website.

Māori Health Model Te Whare Tapa Whā


Tamariki and rangatahi

Our tamariki and rangatahi can also be affected by COVID-19 in the community.

It’s important to listen to and acknowledge any worries they have and answer their pātai. Be honest, but try to keep their focus on the things they can do to help, such as washing their hands. If you are isolating with your tamariki, try not to change your whānau routine too much.

Our tamariki take their cues from us. Keep up your own self-care. If tamariki are getting upset, calm them down with drawing and colouring in, or get them to burn off their energy by dancing, or playing outside. 

He Paiaka Tōtara

He Paiaka Tōtara has developed resources alongside Māori psychologists for parents, teachers and therapists to read to tamariki aged 6-8 years. They are designed to support tamariki who experience anxiety, tension, pain, or anger.

For more information about their resources, visit the He Paiaka Tōtara website.  

He Paiaka Tōtara

Other helpful resources


You can also check out Allsorts for more advice about connecting with people and places that lift you up.



Small Steps

Small steps have developed a free toolbox you can use to manage your stress, calm your mind and lift your mood. Their website is for whānau to take small steps on their journey to improve wellbeing.

Small Steps


Māori depression and anxiety

Don’t be afraid to seek support from your kaupapa Māori mental health service.

Depression.org is a helpful resource for whānau who struggle with depression and anxiety. You will find lots of professional advice and personal stories from whānau that will inspire you. Start by checking out their Māori Identity page.

Your Identity – Māori


Te Kete Pounamu

Kotahitanga is a safe space for tāngata whaiora to come together to join in weekly topic discussions. They can also help you with advice about getting a COVID-19 test or vax.

For more information about Te Kete Pounamu, call them on 0800 POUNAMU (0800 768 6268) or visit their Facebook page.



The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand provides a list of helplines available to support whānau with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing.

You can free text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

For more information about the helpline services available, visit the Mental Health Foundation website.

Mental Health Foundation


Chur! All good, bro?

We can empower our tāne Māori to reach out and uplift each other with this new kit from the Mental Health Foundation.

Chur! All good, bro?


Gumboot Friday

Gumboot Friday provides free counselling for anyone under 25.

Gumboot Friday


Māori hauora providers

Māori hauora providers offer a range of services to help whānau. 

For more information about Māori hauora providers in your region, visit the Ministry of Health website. 

Māori Health Provider Directory


Family Services Directory

The Family Services Directory is an online database that lists information about family support organisations and the services they offer to support whānau.

For more information or to connect with providers, visit the Family Services Directory. 

Family Services Directory


Deaf Aotearoa

Deaf Aotearoa has helpful information about COVID-19 for Deaf people.

Deaf Aotearoa

He toa takitini We are stronger together

The stories of tāngata whaikaha are unique and our barriers to participating in society are often invisible. It is important to listen, connect and awhi each other so we can navigate the challenges we face together.

He Toa Takitini is a collective response by tangata whaikaha to share their stories and information about their hauora and protection from COVID-19.

For more information about He Toa Takitini, visit their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram.