Pacific Spirit Strong In Testing Times
The response of Porirua City’s Pacific communities to the COVID-19 pandemic reflects the strong community spirit that is alive and well in Pacific culture.
As the city adjusts to life under Alert Level 4, our Pacific communities are finding ways to celebrate faith and family, without the need to physically gather, says Porirua Mayor Anita Baker.
“Many of our Pacific community have strong faith, and at Easter would traditionally come together to celebrate this. But this year things are very different – we all need to stay home in our household bubble and not meet up with others .
“We’re pleased to hear that Ministers are running online church services and finding other ways of communicating with congregations. Everyone is adapting to the situation we find ourselves in and focusing on keeping one another safe.”
Deputy Mayor Izzy Ford says this caring, community spirit flows strongly through Pacific culture.
“We are a city rich in cultural diversity and also rich in communities that look after each other when facing difficult or uncertain times.
“Porirua is proudly Pacific and our people are finding ways to offer warmth and support to one another, while following all the Government guidelines on keeping safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“Community spirit is something that has always been seen strongly in our Eastern suburbs, and city as a whole, and this is shining again as we face the pandemic together.”
Porirua’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has worked closely with the Pacific community to assess any needs and provide support where needed. Staff have reached out to members of the Tokelauan, Niuean, Cook Island, Tuvaluan, Tongan, Samoan and Fijian communities and will keep in regular contact.
Ministers and community leaders have been given details of Porirua City’s welfare line and online resources to share with their networks.
Key Pacific social service providers are meeting regularly with the EOC’s welfare team so information can be passed on and any issues or concerns shared.
“We’re in this together and we’ll get through it together,” says Mayor Baker.
For more information on the city’s response to COVID-19 visit wwww.poriruacity.govt.nz/covid