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Dr Rawiri Taonui | COVID Māori Update 3 May 2020 | Comparing Zero Cases with Australia
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COVID Māori Update 3 May 2020 | Comparing Zero Cases with Australia
Dr Rawiri Taonui

0305 1


For the 10th time in 12 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. The 10-day trend to compare with national figures, the run is: 0-1-0-0-0-1-0-0-0-0.

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 and the existence of checkpoints continues to affording significant protection to regional and rural Māori communities.

0305 2

Pacific Peoples

There are 2 new Pacific cases today. The total is 79. With typical inaccuracy on ethnic data, the Ministry of Health says Pacific are 5.0% of all cases. Pacific cases are 5.3%. This incremental, but steady increase is of emerging concern. In the immediate instance, it says the two new cases from St Margarets in Auckland are from the Pacific community and there may be more cases. The 10-day trend runs: 1-1-3-1-0-1-1-0-1-2.

0305 3

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.

0305 4

Level 3 Rules

Police have broken up “hundreds” of parties during the level three lockdown. Police told the outlet they had received 1200 reports of mass gatherings since alert level three began. More than 680 of those came between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, it reported. Mass gatherings pose a significant threat to further infection and therefore are a significant threat to Maori and Pacific communities.

Checkpoints in Taranaki report that of 3,000 passenger vehicles stopped at the checkpoints in Urenui and Pātea, and 1,634 (55%) of them were motorists travelling from outside of the region. Motorists had travelled from as far away as Northland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, and the South Island. There were 1658 total travellers in the south, 1,260 (76%) of those were from outside the region. Inter-regional travel is not allowed and is a significant threat to Māori and the wider communities in the regions.

New Zealand Situation

New and Total Cases

There are 2 new cases today. Total cases are 1487. There are no new deaths. Total deaths stay at 20. New cases are single digit for 15 consecutive days. The 10-day trend is: 5-5-9-5-3-2-3-3-6-2. We need days of zero positive tests before we can confidently move down from Level 3. 5 new cases over the last week have been in the Waitākere Hospital and St Margaret’s Aged Care Facility. This is a real concern.

Compare Australia

Australia, a country 5 times larger than New Zealand, did not start reopening the country until after multiple days of zero cases. Tasmania reported 0 yesterday, New South Wales reported 0 cases on April 30, Victoria has reported 0 twice, Queensland has reported zero 4 times in the last 10 days, Western Australia 8 times in the last 13 days, South Australia zero every day for 10 days, Australian Capital Territory zero for the last 7 days and the Northern Territory just 2 cases since 6 April.

0305 5

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 separate 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 fewer cases per million of the population than New Zealand. The Māori checkpoints achieve something similar.

Recovered and Active Cases

1266 or 85% of all cases have recovered. Every recovery is one less risk. There is a new low for active cases of 199, the first day below 200 active cases since 24 March. We are tracking to less than 50 active cases by 11 May. The number of active cases must be as low as possible before we re-open the country.

0305 6


There were 4,634 tests yesterday. There are 150,223 in total. This is 30,000 tests 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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