Journal of Professional Nursing

Promoting hauora during COVID-19: Time to listen to the narratives of Māori nurses and leaders

Kiri Hunter, MN, RN, PhD Candidate, School of Clinical Sciences; Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne, Ngāti Maniapoto
Zoe Tipa, PhD, RN, Senior Lecturer, School of Clinical Sciences; Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu

Reference:  Hunter, K., & Tipa, Z. (2021). Promoting hauora during COVID-19: Time to listen to the narratives of Māori nurses and leaders. [Editorial]. Nursing Praxis in Aotearoa New Zealand, 37(3), 6-7. 

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This special issue of Nursing Praxis in Aotearoa New Zealand reflects how rapidly COVID-19 has changed the landscape of global health and highlights the impact of health and social inequities across Indigenous communities (see, in this issue, Best et al., 2021, COVID-19 among Indigenous communities). In this editorial we honour the otherwise invisible and underrecognised work of Māori nurses as they fortify and weld together their respective communities in the face of very real threats to hauora Māori. We draw upon a whakataukī or ‘proverb’ that speaks to Māori perspectives of time and protective guidance:

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua I walk backwards into the future with my eyes  fixed on my past

This whakataukī encapsulates how the past is central to and shapes both present and future identity (Rameka, 2016). It reminds us that the strength of carrying one’s past into the future is that our ancestors are ever present, both physically and spiritually (Walker, 1996). There are fundamental beliefs, values, and attributes inherited from our tūpuna (ancestors) that guide Māori nurses in their practices today. Many kaupapa Māori principles provide blueprints of how to respond during events like COVID-19.  

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