2020 has been a memorable year, sweeping in changes like no other. Our world has mostly come to a standstill as we grapple with the uncertainty that comes with living in a global pandemic. Phrases and terms like "unprecedented times", "epidemiology" and "new norm" are being thrown around in daily conversations and the amounts of Covid19 tests completed and cases discovered have become interesting topics of discussion. In New Zealand we have now lived through almost two months of "unprecedented times" and our daily routines and norms have changed drastically from what it was like before we moved into this uncertain season. Naturally, I was very excited to join the talanoa around what a post Covid19 recovery could look like.
Our talanoa was rich and real as ideas and experiences were shared about what recovery could look like for our Pasefika communities. We were reminded that solutions for communities should be led and driven by our communities. We heard examples of how Pasefika organisations had to be nimble and repurpose funds according to the new needs in communities. We heard about the difficulty that comes from having to address current needs on top of the needs our communities were already facing pre-Covid19. We also heard frustration, stemming from what we perceive to be a lack of trust between our government and us, playing out in the world of funding.
Despite all these difficulties and complexities, enhanced by this strange and unknown season we are living in, we were reminded that our time has come to create impact within our communities. The season of courage is here. The courage to remember and value our inherent need for connection over isolation. The courage to recognise that the world pre-Covid19 isn't a world we want to return to anyway. The courage to completely rethink systems so we can build and bounce forward, together.
Fa'afetai tele lava Dr Siautu Alefaio-Tugia for facilitating a valuable and needed talanoa. Malo lava to our awesome panel for sharing your rich insights and knowledge. Fa'amalo Talanoa HUBBS for providing a platform for us all to re-imagine a new future.
By Eseta Le'au