Auckland Council’s Pasifika councillors have praised the Pacific community for pulling together to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 but say is not the time to get complacent.
Councillors Josephine Bartley, Fa'anana Efeso Collins and Alf Filipaina are reminding the community it is important to continue to stay at home or in their neighbourhood and to get tested if they feel sick.
“As we knew they would, our people have heeded the warnings, have got tested by the thousands and are looking out for each other, but there is still a big job to do,” says Cr Collins.
“We’ve got another extra few days in Alert Level 3 to go, but from next week we will have fewer restrictions and it would be easy to just step off the pedal a bit. But we have seen how quickly and easily this virus can spread so it is important everyone stays committed to reducing that risk to our community.”
He acknowledges that is hard for some people, as having people just drop by, going to visit family or to church is a massive part of the Pacific culture which has to be curtailed.
We’re in this together
Like his colleagues, Councillor Filipaina has spent a lot of time over the past few weeks talking with the community and the media to ensure important messages get out. The trio met this week with those who will soon be inducted in the council’s Pacific People’s Advisory Panel as well.
“I do want to say congratulations to our community right across Auckland, the church and community leaders, the health workers and those contractors who clean the public toilets, who have put up the tape and signs on playgrounds – everyone is doing their bit to get Auckland out of this as soon as possible.
“Even as restrictions lift, if you feel unwell stay home, if you have symptoms get tested and keep a record of where you have been and who you were in contact with.
“And a reminder that under Alert Level 3 – our playgrounds, skateparks, basketball courts and park benches are closed and off-limits – please do your bit and stay off them.”
Councillor Bartley says while the Auckland cluster was focussed on south Auckland’s Pacific community, it has had an impact across the region.
“We have large community all across Auckland, and we are all so connected the impact has been felt by everyone and everyone is pitching in to support each other.
“It is also really important to stay at home.”