COVID-19 - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu


Last updated: 14 September 2022

If you or your whānau have been affected by COVID-19 or self isolation requirements and need assistance, please call us on 0800 Kāi Tahu (0800 524 8248). We may be able to help.

On 12 September, the Government announced that the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also known as the traffic light system, has been removed.

The Government announced that the traffic light system is now removed starting from 11.59pm on 12 September. This means that masks are no longer required except in healthcare settings including hospitals, GPs, pharmacies and in aged residential care facilities.

Another key change is regarding isolation requirements. As of 12:00am 13 September, only those who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate for seven days. Household contacts no longer need to isolate but are asked to do rapid antigen tests(RAT) everyday for 5 days.

It was also announced that all Government vaccine mandates will end in from 26 September. Vaccination requirements for all travellers arriving into New Zealand, including air crew also ends.

Find out more details

COVID-19 resources

Here are some resources to help you and your whānau through COVID-19: Kete Whānau and Kowheori-19.


Work and Income

Work and Income may be able to help with immediate and essential needs if you have to self-isolate due to COVID-19, including a possible financial payment. You will need to fill in a form to apply. Follow the link to find out what’s involved and what documents you will need to have ready. Only one form is needed per whānau. You can also contact one of our Ngāi Tahu affiliated support service providers.

Aotearoa is operating under the orange traffic light setting.

In the orange traffic light setting

  • There will be no limits on the number of people who can attend indoor and outdoor events or gatherings.
  • Businesses are no longer required to implement My Vaccine Pass. Scanning is no longer required.
  • Vaccine mandates are removed, except for health and disability, aged care, corrections and border workforces.
  • A face mask is still required in indoor places including retail outlets, supermarkerts, on domestic flights, on public transport and when visiting healthcare facilities.
  • To protect yourself, your whānau and your community, keep up healthy habits.

See Marae guidance and guidance for tangihanga, funerals and last rites at orange traffic light setting. There is also a policy in place for Te Whare to help minimise the risk around COVID-19.

COVID-19 variants

The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time and there are new variants. Examples are the Delta and Omicron variants.

The Delta variant spreads more easily than the original version of COVID-19. This variant may cause people to develop more serious COVID-19 illness and to carry a higher viral load in their body. It is also easier to contract than the original version. Read more about the Delta variant.

Information is still being gathered about the latest variant—Omicron. Omicron seems to spread more quickly than the original virus and Delta variant. This means that although it may have a lesser health impact, the rate of spreading may overwhelm health systems. In Australia Omicron is the dominant variant. New Zealand does not have Omicron in the community (as at 19 October 2022), but there have been many cases at the border.

Booster vaccinations are recommended. While two doses of vaccine provide some protection for Omicron, a booster offers greater protection against serious infection and the risk of transmitting it to others. Read more about the Omicron variant.


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If you’re fully vaccinated (two doses plus a booster) you may still contract COVID-19, but are likely to only have mild to moderate symptoms. Three doses of Pfizer vaccine is proven to provide a high protection against serious illness and hospitalisation. Most vaccinated people who contract COVID-19 will likely be able to manage as though it were a flu, but will need to be monitored. However, some people may still become very unwell.

Listen to some kaumatua talk about COVID-19.