Samoan group stands up in COVID-19 fight

Publish Date : 07 Oct 2021

A group of Manurewa residents has responded to the call to increase Samoan vaccination rates.

Samoa I Manurewa Tutū Fa’atasi (Samoans in Manurewa Stand Together) is taking a lead to mobilise Samoans in Manurewa to get vaccinated.

Made up of church leaders, community representatives and young people, Samoa I Manurewa Tutū Fa’atasi is hosting a two-day vaccination drive-through on Friday and Saturday between 9am and 4pm.

Bookings aren’t required for the event in the Northcrest carpark at 1-13 Maich Road, made available through the Manurewa Business Association.

Pasefika Family Health Group, which has a centre on Weymouth Road, will carry out the vaccinations.

Life Church Senior Pastor Lui Ponifasio is one of the key conveners

“We’re all passionate Samoans who call Manurewa home. We’ve answered the call because we know our community and want to play our part. That means encouraging people to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, loved ones and the wider community.”

Although targeted at Samoans, the event is open to all local people and will include music, Samoan food from local businesses as well as prizes and giveaways for those who get vaccinated.

Samoa I Manurewa Tutū Fa’atasi has already launched Facebook and Instagram accounts and has also activated 0800 1150 05 to enable callers to talk to Samoan/English speakers about this week’s event.

Manurewa-Papakura Auckland Councillor Angela Dalton says she values the opportunity to support the Samoan community.

“We want to support our Samoan community. The response when Manurewa was first identified as a suburb of interest was magnificent, with so many turning up to be tested or to have vaccinations,” Dalton says.

“We are stronger together at this critical point in completing our vaccination rollout in Tāmaki Makaurau.”

Samoans are Auckland’s largest Pacific population at 120,000, with 80,000 eligible for vaccination. About 37 per cent of Auckland Samoans are fully vaccinated after recent community-led vaccination drives.

Samoa I Manurewa Tutū Fa’atasi complements Samoa Tutū Fa’atasi, a movement under Prepare Pacific to help the community find information in Samoan.

After the recent Delta outbreak, a Facebook page Samoa Tutū Fa’atasi was launched, primarily in Samoan, and is gaining a following in Auckland, Samoa, Australia and the United States.

It features community stories from league legend Ruben Wiki and former Manu Samoa international Tino Junior Poluleuligaga, and a ‘Sa’o pe Sese’ (True or False) segment with south Auckland doctor Emma Ropati (Chang-Wai).

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