Story: Samoans

Covid pandemic

Colour photograph of three people in medical personal protective equipment standing next to a car.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Pacific communities were often particularly hard-hit. The Assembly of God Church of Samoa in Māngere in South Auckland was badly affected by the Delta strain of COVID-19 in the second half of 2021. Pacific health leaders urged the government to work more closely with Pacific communities to ensure the outbreak was contained. This highlighted the health disparities for Samoan and other Pacific families, often living in overcrowded conditions which allowed the highly contagious disease to spread more easily. However, as Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga, chair of Pasifika GP Network, noted at the time:

Thankfully, a community where respect for each other is paramount, which practises reciprocity and communitarianism, and does things for the greater good of all concerned, has shown we will lead the way in testing rates to help the country – not just Pacific people – to contain this deadly virus.

As shown in this image, the church hosted testing and vaccination drives in their community during the outbreak.

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Radio New Zealand – Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa

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Quote: ‘New Zealand health chief slams ‘gutless’ racism against Pasifika people over Covid cluster’, Guardian, 25 August 2021

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How to cite this page:

Lupematasila Melani Anae, 'Samoans - Life in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

Story by Lupematasila Melani Anae, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 7 Sep 2022 with assistance from  Lupematasila Melani Anae