COVID-19 response timeline

Last updated: Monday, 14 August 2023 | Rāhina, 14 Hereturikōkā, 2023

2020 situation and outcomes

February to June 2020

First COVID case reported in Aotearoa on 28 February 2020. COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 enacted in May 2020. Whole-of-Government response established.

Action: Government implements an ‘Alert Level’ elimination strategy to keep the virus out and stamp it out. State of Emergency declared, 25 March and New Zealanders are asked to stay at home in their bubble and take other measures to contain the virus. Test-trace-isolate are key tools for managing the pandemic to break the chain of transmission.

Outcomes: Borders close to all New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, 19 March. Country goes into Alert Level 4 and the entire nation goes into self-isolation 25 March.

July to December 2020

COVID cases are reported in various regions at various times across the North Island.

Action: Alert levels vary across regions at various times in an attempt to mitigate spread of the virus.

Outcomes: Information campaign Unite Against COVID underway.

2021 situation and outcomes

January to June 2021

Māori meet the challenges of COVID-19 in their own way by adapting tikanga.

Action: Alert levels vary across regions at various times in an attempt to mitigate spread of the virus. Māori closing their borders in specific regions.

Outcomes: The Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in Aotearoa in Feb 2021. Māori COVID campaign commences in May 2021, supporting the Unite Against COVID-19 campaign to promote vaccination, isolation and whānau care.

July to December 2021

Delta variant surging in the community by September 2021. End of Alert Level system and COVID-19 protection framework activated (traffic light alerts) 2 December 2021.

Action: MCCF activates Phase 1 – Rapid Vaccine Acceleration with $70.58m. Iwi mobilised to promote Karawhiua and establish vaccination and testing centres and events.

Outcomes: New and existing funding contracts established to achieve Māori Vaccination uplift, with focus on driving vaccination demand.

2022 situation and outcomes

January to June 2022

First Omicron community cases detected in January 2022.

Action: MCCF activates Phase 2 with $39.42m to help build whānau, iwi and community resilience. MCCF activates Phase 3 with $20.39m to help hapori Māori respond to the impact of Omicron.

Outcomes: We adapt to living with COVID in the community. Communications and activation includes information on how to operate under the COVID-19 Protection Framework, encouraging vaccination, testing, face mask wearing, managing isolation and whānau care.

Māori vaccination first dose increases to 91% and second dose to 88%.

July to December 2022

Traffic light settings dropped, 14 Sept 2022. Vaccine mandates end, 27 Sept 2022. Funding for Karawhiua ends on 31 December 2022.

Action: Communications includes encouraging hapori Māori to get boosted, manage isolation and access antiviral medicine if required.

Outcomes: Research indicates Karawhiua is recognised as a trusted source of information about COVID-19, for hapori Māori.

31 March 2023

Karawhiua website has moved to Te Aka Whai Ora.