Pacific Leadership Forum: Pasifika at highest risk of Coronavirus

By Bronson Perich
Teleiai Edwin Puni. Pacific Leadership Forum Chair. Source/Teleiai Edwin Puni. Used with permission.

The Pacific Leadership Forum have identified their ethnicities as the having the highest risk of contracting Coronavirus. To combat that risk, the Aotearoa based leadership group has offered their services to help the government prepare their communities for the long fight ahead.

In a statement the forum wrote, “This is a great risk not only to the Pacific communities, but also to the wider New Zealand population.”

According to the forum, the communal living of the Pasifika community is what makes them prone. The multiple languages spoken within the community make it difficult to explain the self-isolation procedures imposed by the government.

Pacific Leadership Forum chair Teleiai Edwin Puni explains how that effects government commuications.

It is difficult, Puni says, “Particularly for Pacific church and community leaders to inform its congregations and communities the need to minimise or cancel huge gatherings and reduce regular meetings.”

The Forum expressed its support for the recent cancellations of the Pasifika and Polyfest festivals. Puni says:

“It was the right call although our hearts go out to the stallholders and those that travelled from the islands.

“Prevention is better than cure.”