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Dr Rawiri Taonui | COVID Māori Update 2 May 2020 | Emerging Evidence Checkpoints are Working
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COVID Māori Update 2 May 2020 | Emerging Evidence Checkpoints are Working
Dr Rawiri Taonui

0205 1


For the 9th time in 11 days, there are no new Māori cases. The total stays at 126. With typical inaccurate ethnic data, the Ministry of Health says Māori are 8% of all cases. Māori are 8.5% of all cases. The single decimal place is important for tracking the current trend. Using a 10-day trend to compare with national figures, the run is 0-0-1-0-0-0-1-0-0-0.

On one hand, we need caution optimism about these positive numbers against low levels of Māori testing in most DHBs during March and much of April. However, increasingly, we need to consider that the combination of much of the Māori population living outside of large urban centres, increased testing of Māori in Te Tai Tokerau, the Waikato, Taranaki and Te Tai Rāwhiti, especially during late-April, and the existence of checkpoints is affording significant protection to regional and rural Māori communities.

Pacific Peoples

There is 1 new Pacific case today. The total is 76. With typical inaccuracy on ethnic data, the Ministry of Health says Pacific are 5.0% of all cases. Pacific cases are 5.2%. The 10-day trend runs 1-1-3-1-0-1-1-0-1-1.

Māori and Pacific Percentage Cases

The following table presents Māori and Pacific cases compared to the ethnic demographic from the Ministry of Health’s model of the population which allocates one identity per person for anyone who, for example, identifies as Māori and Pacific, and, Census 2018 which allows a person to self-identify with more than one ethnicity. Those most at risk are MELAA (Middle East, Latin American, African), European and Asian.

0205 2

New Zealand Situation

New and Total Cases

There are 6 new cases today. Total cases are 1485. There is 1 new death. Total deaths move to 20. New cases are single digit for 14 consecutive days; the 10-day trend is 3-5-5-9-5-3-2-3-3-6. The slight blip upwards is a concern. Alongside 3 new cases associated with Waitākere Hospital, this a continuing possibility of community transmission. We need many days of zero positive tests before we can from Level 3 with confidence.

Compare Australia

If we compare New Zealand with Australia, a country 5 times larger than us, New South Wales reported 0 cases on April 30, Victoria has reported 0 twice, Queensland has reported 0 six times in the last 12 days, Western Australia 7 times in the last 12 days, South Australia 12 times in the last 14 days including the last 10, Australian Capital Territory 16 of the last 18 days including the last 6 days and the Northern Territory no new cases since 6 April.

Some New Zealand commentators have said that because Australia did not go to a Level 4 lockdown, ours was unnecessary. This is not correct. What Australia did differently, was to lock down state borders. This ended inter-state travel, and to a greater degree than New Zealand, allowing each State to effectively work independently, almost like sperate countries, with added support from the Federal government. Contrast this with the United States, where there is widespread confusion between the Federal Government, states, and mayors of cities. The system has been highly effective such that on a per capita bases Australia has less cases per million of the population than New Zealand. The Māori checkpoints achieve something similar.

New Zealand has not seen a stream of 0 new cases. This is necessary if we are to have confidence in moving from Level 3 on 11 May. If new cases continue to be reported every day, even at small numbers, then it is arguable that we should have stayed at level 4 for longer or increased the number of checkpoints.

Recovered and Active Cases

1263 or 85% of all cases have recovered. Every recovery is one less risk. There is a new low for active cases of 202. Tracking to a target of less than 50 active cases by 11 May, when the government will consider moving down from Level 3, continues to progress but is slowing down. We will want to see this drop more quickly.

0205 3


There are no new clusters. One cluster was closed yesterday, two more closed today. This is good news.


There were 5,691 tests yesterday. There are 145,589 in total. This is 29,117 per million. We are now testing above many other countries of our size.


                           Noho haumaru stay safe and self-sovereign, Dr Rawiri Taonui.
rawiri t


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