20 March 2020

A word from the Pasifika Council

Bula vinaka, Fakalofa ahi atu, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Malo soifua, Talofa, 
Taloha ni, Warm Pacific Greetings to you all 

During this challenging time, we encourage you all to take this pandemic very seriously and to exercise great wisdom. It is absolutely vital that you keep up to date with medical notices and advice being sent out to enable you to be fully engaged and equipped with the understanding of the risks and the prevention of the coronavirus to the Pacific community. This link to the Ministry of Pacific Peoples website will provide the latest updates, information and advice in our various Pacific languages https://www.mpp.govt.nz/ 

The Pacific communities are vulnerable and at risk of being exposed to the conditions of the corona virus due to regular community gatherings and events, family engagements and including other health and socio-economic risks from overcrowded homes and susceptibility to colds and flus. 

For the sake of your families and communities be vigilant with washing hands, sneezing and coughing into your elbow, staying home if you’re not feeling well and keeping a safe distance from others. Avoid large gatherings and refrain from protocols such as kava drinking etc, where you would share food or drink that would put you and others at risk. Take good care of your elders and ensure they have everything they need at home with them. Self-isolate well if you are required to and restrict travel to the islands that are vulnerable and don’t have the infrastructure we have here in NZ to cope well with an outbreak. The 1918 influenza pandemic in Samoa where 22% of the population died and the more recent heart-breaking fatalities caused by the measles are good reasons not to travel unless absolutely necessary. 

This is a time to exercise spiritual and practical love and wisdom. Put your trust in the Lord. Pray often, pray for one another. Find ways to stay in touch, encourage and support each other. 

Psalm 121:1-2
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where will my help come from? 
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

A word of encouragement from HRH Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu: 

Psalm 91:10-11 (Aramaic Bible) 
Evil shall not come near you and disease (COVID19) shall not come near your dwellings, For he will command his Angels concerning you, to keep you in all your ways.

Because God’s Word stands the tests of time, let us self-isolate ourselves under the hand of the Almighty God. 

We are praying for you all. Much love and blessings. 

Gina Siaosi
Pasifika Ambassador