Pasifika and COVID-19

COVID-19 support for Pasifika

Tālofa lava, Bula vinaka, fakaalofa lahi atu, fakatalofa atu, kia orana, ko na mauri, malo e lelei, mālō nī, noa’ia, tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings.

Proverb

E vave taunu’u le malaga pe tātou alo va’a fa’atasi – our destiny is within sight when we paddle our canoe together – Samoan proverb

Current state


This page has been set up to help our Pasifika communities in the battle against the spread of COVID-19 and to provide support.

Now that we are in Alert Level 2, we must continue to play it safe as we have more freedom to resume back to some normality. It is up to each of us to continue to keep the rest of New Zealand safe; including our family/aiga.

The impacts of COVID-19 goes against everything we are as Pasifika peoples. We’ve had to endure physical distancing and self-isolation which meant we changed parts of our culture and practice. We know it was hard, but we did it for our older people and our most vulnerable family members.

We as Pasifika people are resilient and we still need to pull together to get through and continue to demonstrate our Pasifika values of family (āiga/famili), love (alofa) and respect (fa’aloalo) to nurture and cherish our relationships with the people important to us.

Life at Alert Level 2

  • We can safely connect and socialise with close friends and family, in groups of 10.
  • Gatherings such as Church/Lotu and family events, in groups of 10.
  • Special requirements for funerals of up to 50 people.
  • We can visit local cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs to have a meal.
  • We can return to our regular recreation activities, at first keeping to 10 people.
  • Education facilities, schools and early learning centres are open.
  • We can travel between regions.

Playing it safe


Life at Alert Level 2 means we can resume many of our everyday activities. This means we are able to connect and socialise with wider family/aiga and close outside of our bubbles — but we have to do so safely.

O i tatou uma e galulue fa’atasi – We all have a part to play.

Playing it safe is part of continuing to protect our loved ones from getting COVID-19. Alert Level 2 is not life as normal, and some restrictions and other measures will remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission.

We need to maintain physical distancing when out and about ( two meters) and take extra care if you interact with people you don’t know. These situations include playgrounds, parks, shopping malls or walking along the street.

Gatherings at your fale

You can have friends and family over to your fale, but gatherings are limited to up to 10 people, or the people who usually live in your house.

Keep surfaces clean, wash your hands, and keep the numbers low so you can practice safe physical distancing.

For Pasifika peoples, this is hard because we come from big families of more than 10 people, but we must continue to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19. The stronger we are today, the sooner we’ll welcome tomorrow.

It is still important that we continue to practise safe hygiene.

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.

Please remember if you need something, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need essential supplies and do not have friends or family who can help contact your local Civil Defence.

Wellbeing


For some, you may decide that you want to remain at home and that’s okay – it’s normal to feel this way. There are ways to practice physical distancing while still keeping our social and family connections strong. You could consider the following:

  • Set up a family Facebook page.
  • Live stream your family Sunday lunch.
  • Live stream a family lotu/prayer once a week.
  • Learn more about your cultural roots, villages and family history.
  • Eat healthy food and drinks and keep regular sleep routines.
  • Remain active – get creative with the physical activities you can do at home.
  • Do activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. This could be exercising in your living room, building something, singing, gardening, cooking.

If there is tension at home, Le Va have some great tips to help.

If you are struggling to cope, and feel anxious or down. Please let someone you trust know. Don’t keep these feelings to yourself. There are people who can and want to help. If you want to talk to a professional you can call the Depression Helpline about how you are feeling or to ask a question: 0800 111 757 or text 4202.

Financial help


There are many people experiencing financial hardship, job loss or drop in income. This is unsettling and worrying. The Government is acting to support us all through these changes, and there is help and support available. This includes:

  • a wage subsidy scheme 
  • leave and self-isolation support 
  • business cash flow and tax measures. 
  • If you receive a benefit, this will continue, as usual.

Find out more information about COVID-19 support, including how to apply on the Work and Income website.

Healthcare access


All Health and medical facilities are open.

This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline, GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support service.

The way these services operate might be a bit different, for example, your GP might talk to you over the phone or videoconference rather than see you in person. If a face-to-face meeting is required, your doctor or other medical professional will organise this with you.

If you are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (dial 111).

Where to find help


There are many organisations and people in your community who can help.

Resources for Pasifika


COVID-19 Information translated in Pasifika languages.

  • Prepare Pacific: Talanoa with Dr Api.
  • Prepare Pacific: Taulogologo - is a programme developed in the Samoan language which shares key information that is important and critical for us to know and understand about COVID-19.
  • LeVa: Practical tips on how to #CatchYourself and maintain respectful relationships in your bubble.
  • LeVa: Check out #CatchYourself ambassador videos and what they have to say about how to care for ourselves while respecting our bubble.

Long-term health conditions


If you have a long-term health condition you may be more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. Stay informed with up-to-date, relevant and credible information from our partners.

Alofa atu, Alofa mai

“Now is the time to bond as a unit, sit at the dining table and share a meal, tell stories and start evening prayers. When I was young in Niue there was no TV, some of my fondest memories are playing cards with my family after dinner. It is possible that we could come out of this crisis stronger, healthier, happier and closer”

Niuean Doctor and Pasifika Medical Association member Dr L’Ondine Tukuitonga - Secretary, Pacific Chapter, RNZCGP

Download the NZ COVID Tracer app


Mobile app coming soon

Download available here: https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz

The quicker we can contact people who might have come into contact with COVID-19, the quicker we can stop the spread of the virus.

Here’s how you can help support contact tracing

  • Sign up today
  • Share your up-to-date contact information
  • Scan NZ COVID Tracer posters to keep track of where you’ve been
  • Ask your whānau, friends and workmates to join in

Don't have a smartphone?

You can still register online to share your latest contact information.

For more information, head to https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz

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