Ngāti Whakaue kaumātua had to adapt to spending weeks without waiata group and using technology to meet during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Their experiences have been documented by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Senior Research Fellow Dr Teorongonui Josie Keelan who interviewed five elders via online video chat service Zoom when alert level 1 began.
The videos detail how the kaumātua handled the effects of the pandemic and have been published online.
Keelan did the research to complement a larger project involving kaumātua all over Aotearoa.
"Throughout Covid-19 the elderly were constantly presented as being vulnerable and what we wanted to show was that in actual fact, they were still very much involved in their communities ... That's not to say that we shouldn't care for them though."
She said the value of the Te Arawa community response "really stood out".
Keelan was "not at all" surprised by how quickly they adapted to the major changes the pandemic brought.
"They're busy, they're active, they're engaged."
Utuhina resident Wiremu Keepa was one of those interviewed.
In the video, he said although he was in an age group most vulnerable to serious health complications from Covid-19, he was "a little blase" about it when it was only overseas.
Before Covid-19 alert levels were established his weekly waiata group discussed closing down until things improved.
And when lockdown began, Keepa felt he was "semi-prepared" because he was used to living alone and was able to keep in close contact with whānau and friends via technology.
"I most definitely was not isolated per se. There was still contact even through telephones, through [the] iPad, through Facebook, that sort of thing, so that was all sweet. The only thing that worried me perhaps was how long it was going to last."
One of the things he missed most was sitting on the paepae in marae at tangihanga.
As he could not attend meetings in person as a trustee for Māori land blocks Zui - Zoom hui - were held instead.
"That was totally different but we, I could handle it."
Keepa would prefer to talk in person but said he thought online hui would continue to happen.
"Zui will be like bread and butter."
One of the highlights of lockdown was the unexpected help, particularly from other members of his hapū who did his shopping and Te Arawa Whānau Ora who delivered care packages and checked on him.
"They were a hell of a surprise. When somebody comes knocking on your door, two paces away and gives you a box, you just light up.
"Those were great ... It gave you a good feeling that people out there were worried about you."
One of the things Keepa has appreciated most since restrictions have lowered is being able to go to the library again.
"I almost live in the library so I am happy with that."
He commended Te Arawa services for its responses and Government management of the situation.
There was still a lot of caution around hongi and harirū handshakes among kaumātua and hand hygiene, Keepa said, and he thought this was a good thing.
He said it was still essential for kaumātua to clarify the precautions they would like visitors to take on the marae "because Covid is still alive".
"I think it's really important that the paepae does communicate to the manuhiri."