This talanoa highlighted how Covid 19 had represented a challenge to our health systems worldwide, specifically how the New Zealand structural governance in response to Covid 19 has implications on our South Auckland Pasifika communities.
Auckland Councillor Fa’anana Efesso Collins mentioned their needs to be a structural change as the Civil Defence Emergency Model relies on a Eurocentric model. Here in South Auckland, we have the most significant Pasifika population globally. We need an emergency system that addresses the needs of the people—having Pasifika representatives contributing to the decision making and advising best practice on what is effective in liaising with our communities.
Jane Rovins International Disaster Risk Management mentions negativity connotation is not unusual in global disasters. However, New Zealand has moved very quickly in response to Covid 19 and is one of the great winners. In comparison to other countries who have struggled to mobilise soon, which has impacted their communities. Ms Rovins added learning from the previous disasters helps to inform policies and is an opportunity to rethink/pivot on what necessary changes are needed to change our current national infrastructure.
With this in mind, Sosefina Paletaoga expressed the social climate of housing in Otara or the social issues that come with disadvantaged communities have not changed from her childhood when residing in this neighbourhood. But chiefly emphasised Pasifika communities are resilient and immensely sacrificial giving communities. People of all walks of life have been negatively affected by the loss of work or respect. However, through heart, compassion, and Christ-like traits, Pasifika are warmly giving to help people who are more in need than themselves. Here is an excellent example of Pasifika communities mobilising their resources to help each other in times of need.
Andrew Peteru posed a good question in response to resilience on where are we going? How well or determined our Pasifika communities are to get to the other side? For the most part, our Pasifika communities have been immensely resilient and are more than willing to help each other during emergencies.
Covid 19 has brought New Zealand and countries around the world to its knees. Pasifika communities in South Auckland have heart, love, and selflessness in helping one another with what little they have to share.
Featuring: Andrew Peteru Disaster Health Specialist, Jane Rovins International Disaster Risk Management, Fa’anana Effeso Collins Auckland Councillor, and Sosefina Paletaoga Chief Executive Otara Health.