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Source: Auckland Council

Community organisations in Puketāpapa have been at the forefront of responding to the challenges presented by COVID-19 with outreach programmes and activities.

Puketāpapa Local Board Chair Julie Fairey says that the role that community organisations play in supporting diverse needs and under-served communities is invaluable.

“This has been a really hard year, and it’s been heartening to see people helping each other out in tough times. Local groups have done some amazing activities to share kindness around our neighbourhoods,” says Julie.

Puketāpapa is unique because of its diversity. According to the 2018 Census data, a total of 122 languages other than English are spoken here. More people speak Hindi in this local board area than anywhere else in Auckland; with 8.4 per cent of the local board population speaking Hindi, compared to the city’s overall percentage of Hindi speakers at 3.1 per cent.

The Somali Development and Education Trust was instrumental in supporting Auckland Emergency Management in making important COVID-19 related messages more accessible by translating them into different languages, particularly for local African resettled communities. The New Zealand Ethnic Women’s Trust played a similar role for those in their orbit.

“We made sure to check in on people in the community like single mothers with language barriers who experienced a lot of stress due to being isolated during lockdown,” says Fadumo Ahmed, Chairperson of NZ Ethnic Women’s trust.

“Similarly, a lot of taxi drivers lost their jobs due to the impact of COVID-19. Our volunteers provided essentials like groceries where necessary and translators too to help families access support.”

The organisation gave out over 300 food packages to vulnerable families and elderly in the community and made reusable masks to give out for free.

Local businesses are struggling in the current climate. To help them, Roskill Together produced an online directory of local services and help available during COVID-19. 

Acting in a flexible and responsive way to ensure people were supported when and where they needed it, Roskill Together also organised a Car Parade for local residents to drive through the Seniors villages to let them know that they were being thought of, as well as front yard festivals in some of their villages as this community experiences social isolation prior to COVID-19 anyway and COVID further isolated them when they were identified as an at-risk group. 

Global Hope played a big role in Wesley by distributing masks and delivering food and resources to vulnerable families.

Many local churches, sports groups and community organisations also encouraged their members to get tested and to stay home if sick. 

He waka eke noa – we are all in this together – in action!