Pasifika leaders in South Auckland reassure constituents

This RNZ story is republished with permission

A government MP in South Auckland is calling on constituents to be kind and compassionate following the latest community outbreak of Covid-19 in the area.

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Jenny Salesa Photo: RNZ Pacific / Sela Jane Hopgood

Three cases of coronavirus were confirmed over the weekend, plunging Auckland into Level 3 lockdown and the rest of New Zealand into Level 2 until midnight Wednesday, 17 February.

Panmure-Otahuhu’s Labour MP Jenny Salesa is reminding constituents that they defeated the virus last year by pulling together.

She wants to avoid any bullying or harrassment of sufferers.

“Targeting those particular families. And so, it was really just a reminder to our people in South Auckland that we have addressed Covid-19 successfully in the past,” said Salesa.

“We’ve done it collectively and together by uniting to fight against this virus, a very tricky virus, but that we can do it best when we’re kind and compassionate with each other.”

Meanwhile, an Auckland city councillor says Pasifika people in his Manukau Ward are often front-line workers who may be concerned about job security in the latest outbreak.

Many people lost their jobs in the area following last August’s community cases, said Fa’anana Efeso Collins.

Social services, union representatives and Community Law are working to help people gain confidence and knowledge with employment issues, he added.

“Our people are often the essential workers and a lot of them feel disempowered in their work places,” said Fa’anana.

“So it’s important those of us who are community leaders and involved in employment issues are able to stand alongside them and give them the necessary encouragement that they’ll need to be able to raise issues with employers.”

Otara Health chairperson Efeso Collins.
Fa’anana Efeso Collins Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

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