Luke Fitzmaurice and Maria Bargh, “Stepping Up: COVID-19 Checkpoints and Rangatiratanga (Huia Publishers, 2021)

Stepping Up: COVID-19 Checkpoints and Rangatiratanga (Huia Publishers, 2021) discusses the roadside checkpoints that were set up by Māori to protect communities during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Case studies of four different checkpoints are examined, each of which looked slightly different, but all of which were underpinned by tikanga Māori. The checkpoints are discussed as practical expressions of whanau, hapū, iwi and Māori rangatiratanga and indicate the ongoing existence and flourishing of rangatiratanga.

In this podcast episode we delve deep into the concept of Rangatiratanga as expressed through the checkpoints and its wider societal implications.

Dr Maria Bargh (Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa) is Tumuaki/Head of School, Te Kawa a Māui/School of Māori Studies and is a Senior Lecturer in the School. Maria studied at Victoria University of Wellington before completing her PhD in Political Science and International Relations at the Australian National University in 2002. She has worked for iwi organisations such as Ngāti Awa Research and Archives Trust and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne before beginning work at Victoria in 2005.

Luke Fitzmaurice (Te Aupōuri) is a teaching fellow at Te Kawa a Māui, Māori Studies, Te Herenga Waka: Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD candidate in law at the University of Otago. His interests include kaupapa Māori approaches to law and policy, particularly family law and children’s rights. Luke has a BA in politics and international relations, an LLB, and a Postgraduate Certificate in indigenous studies from Victoria University of Wellington. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in child-centred practice from the University of Otago.

Ed Amon is a Master of Indigenous Studies Candidate at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, a columnist at his local paper: Hibiscus Matters, and a Stand-up Comedian. His main interests are indigenous studies, politics, history, and cricket. Follow him on twitter @edamoned or email him at

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