Story: Epidemics

Caring during an epidemic: Kōkiri Marae

A group of people wearing masks, in a large hall, surrounded by many boxes and bags of food.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, iwi and hapū played a crucial role in supporting families struggling to access food and medical supplies such as masks. This photo shows workers at Kōkiri Marae in Lower Hutt sorting food into food parcels. At the height of the lockdowns, the marae supplied up to a thousand food parcels a week to families in need. Much of the food was supplied by the food charity Kaibosh and similar organisations.

Marae were also opened as venues for COVID-19 testing and for vaccination drives.

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Rice, 'Epidemics - New epidemics, 1970s to early 21st century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 April 2024)

Story by Geoff Rice, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 8 Feb 2024