Pasifika and COVID-19

COVID-19 support for Pasifika

Tālofa lava, Bula vinaka, fakaalofa lahi atu, fakatalofa atu, kia orana, ko na mauri, malo e lelei, mālō nī, noa’ia, tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings.

Alert level changes


We are a team of 5 million and it's hard to hear about community transmission and changing alert levels across Aotearoa. There are plans in place for this happening and action is being taken to keep us safe.

We've dealt with COVID-19 before and we can do it again. We've got this!

Ofa atu, Ofa mai – we are stronger when we are together.

More information on alert levels

Proverb

E vave taunu’u le malaga pe tātou alo va’a fa’atasi – our destiny is within sight when we paddle our canoe together – Samoan proverb

Keep moving, eat well, sleep better


COVID-19 may have led to you having feelings of loneliness, fear of becoming unwell, or boredom. Here are a few suggested ways you can look after yourself:

  • It is very important to stay connected with friends, aiga and others. When you need to stay home perhaps connect with these people via telephone, email, social media, or video conferencing (eg, Skype or Facebook Messenger). You could also consider the following:
    • Set up a family Facebook page.
    • Live stream your family Sunday lunch.
    • Live stream a family lotu/prayer once a week.
    • Learn more about your cultural roots, villages and family history.
  • Staying connected means you can help each other, look out for each other’s wellbeing or just be there for each other, offering a safe place for sharing your thoughts and concerns. If you do not have family or friends to connect with, others can check in on you, for example, St John’s Caring Caller where you are matched with a volunteer who will call you and check everything is okay and have a talanoa.
  • You may have experienced hard times before; you could think about the strengths that got you through these and how they could be applied at this time.
  • Healthy eating is about choosing a variety of healthy food including lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, legumes, pulses, low-fat dairy and nuts. Try and avoid foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fats. Drinking plenty of water also helps you feel good. For some new whānau recipe ideas visit the Healthy Kids website.
  • Getting enough sleep is important for your overall wellbeing. Aim for 7 to 8 hours and try to maintain consistent bed and wake up times. Including some physical activity in your day can help promote good quality sleep.
  • Regular physical activity is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. Aim to get outside and move your body every day. It might help if you schedule in some activity at a similar time each day. Remember that any physical activity is better than none. Try and find something that you enjoy and don’t push yourself too hard.
  • Do healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. This could be building something in your shed, singing, or gardening.
  • Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies such as tobacco, alcohol or other drugs. In the long term, these can worsen your mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Visit the COVID-19 website for general tips on looking after your mental wellbeing.

If there is tension at home, Le Va have some great tips to help.

Wear a mask


We know that wearing a mask significantly reduces your risks of contracting COVID-19.  As someone with a health condition this may already be standard practice. We know that COVID-19 spreads through aerosols and droplets when someone speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes, even if they don’t have any symptoms.

When physical distancing is not possible, it’s particularly important to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask.

For more information on face coverings see the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Symptoms of COVID-19


If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as cold or flu symptoms, contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor to find out if you need a test.

If you are offered a test for COVID-19, please take it.

A COVID-19 test is free of charge. However, you may need to pay for a test if it's for the purpose of entering another country.

If you are struggling to cope, and feel anxious or down


Please let someone you trust know. Don’t keep these feelings to yourself. There are people who can and want to help. If you want to talk to a professional a good start maybe your GP, or you can call the Depression Helpline about how you are feeling or to ask a question: 0800 111 757 or text 4202.

It’s okay to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too.

Financial help


There are many people experiencing financial hardship, job loss or drop in income. This is unsettling and worrying. The Government is acting to support us all through these changes, and there is help and support available. This includes:

  • a wage subsidy scheme 
  • leave and self-isolation support 
  • business cash flow and tax measures. 
  • If you receive a benefit, this will continue, as usual.

Find out more information about COVID-19 support, including how to apply on the Work and Income website.

Healthcare access


All health and medical facilities are open.

This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline, GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support service.

If you are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (dial 111).

Where to find help


There are many organisations and people in your community who can help.

Resources for Pasifika


Resources for Pasifika

  • Prepare Pacific: Talanoa with Dr Api.
  • Prepare Pacific: Taulogologo - is a programme developed in the Samoan language which shares key information that is important and critical for us to know and understand about COVID-19.
  • LeVa: Practical tips on how to #CatchYourself and maintain respectful relationships in your bubble.
  • LeVa: Check out #CatchYourself ambassador videos and what they have to say about how to care for ourselves while respecting our bubble.

Long-term health conditions


If you have a long-term health condition you may be more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. Stay informed with up-to-date, relevant and credible information from our partners.

Alofa atu, Alofa mai

“Now is the time to bond as a unit, sit at the dining table and share a meal, tell stories and start evening prayers. When I was young in Niue there was no TV, some of my fondest memories are playing cards with my family after dinner. It is possible that we could come out of this crisis stronger, healthier, happier and closer”

Niuean Doctor and Pasifika Medical Association member Dr L’Ondine Tukuitonga - Secretary, Pacific Chapter, RNZCGP

Download the NZ COVID Tracer app


Download available here: https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz

The quicker we can contact people who might have come into contact with COVID-19, the quicker we can stop the spread of the virus.

Here’s how you can help support contact tracing

  • Sign up today
  • Share your up-to-date contact information
  • Scan NZ COVID Tracer posters to keep track of where you’ve been
  • Ask your whānau, friends and workmates to join in

Don't have a smartphone?

You can still register online to share your latest contact information.

For more information, head to https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz

Other people's stories

I make music

I put myself first

I learnt new strategies

I created a safe space

I got into Waka Ama

I set my own expectations