Giving voice to kaumātua perspectives and experiences, and those of older people in general, during the COVID-19 pandemic has been rare because older people are more often spoken about than provided with opportunities to speak for themselves. When they have been spoken about, the focus has been on their vulnerability. While such vulnerabilities are a critical concern, this focus ignored their active participation in and contributions to their communities.
Indigenous New Zealand Māori have maintained many customs evident in our pre-contact histories and, ever-pragmatic, we allowed and continue to allow for the introduction and infl uence of contemporary ideologies and objects of signifi cance. In te ao Māori, our world, such objects include taonga tuku iho, treasures from the past handed down to us. Our taonga are revered repositories that can reveal much about their owners, those owner's families, and the histories of our people, preceding and subsequent.