Outbreak Management: Honouring Māori Culture

When managing outbreaks, it is important to recognise and honour the cultural needs and values of our Māori residents while fulfilling the infection prevention and control needs of the outbreak.  Māori values strongly focus on making decisions as a collective and building consensus. To effectively manage outbreaks, it is essential to include Māori representatives in the planning process. In this way, we can improve the chances of managing outbreaks successfully.

In order to foster trust, compliance, and resilience in our residents, all leaflets, posters, and communications must be culturally sensitive and inclusive. To ensure everyone knows what they should do, facilities will provide materials and resources in te reo Māori, the Māori language, whenever and wherever needed. Residents and visitors will be provided with translations to know what is expected of them. 

It may be necessary to adapt the facility's practices regarding isolation measures to align with Māori resident's cultural practices. This can be done by working closely with the resident and their whānau to develop solutions that prioritise the importance of family connections and support networks. 

Restricting the movement of residents and visitors within the facility assists in reducing transmission, so careful and clear explanations of the outbreak requirements are required, including to residents, their whānau and any visitors.

Respecting and supporting Māori cultural practices during an outbreak can contribute to the overall well-being of the facility, and this may include facilitating access to kaumātua and cultural practitioners who can provide spiritual guidance and support.