Etu Pasifika Canterbury recognised for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic
Etu Pasifika Canterbury (EPC) was one of three Pacific providers to be recognised and awarded with a certificate of acknowledgement for their response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Canterbury. The award was presented last night at an event led by the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation (PYLAT) council.

“This is an award for your critical reassurance, quality social and clinical support for our Pacific families, and all your patients throughout the pandemic,” says Maria Pula, chairman for PYLAT.  

EPC, alongside Tagata Atumotu Trust (TAT) and Waitaha Primary Health were acknowledged for demonstrating proactive and immediate responses for Pacific communities here in Canterbury. 

The awards were presented by Sir Ashley Bloomfield, who, during the global pandemic, served as the Chief Executive for the New Zealand Ministry of Health. 

Following the award presentations, Bloomfield shared some of his personal thoughts and recognitions about the ways in which Pacific people handled the pandemic.  

“What I remember of the Pacific community is how everyone just came together and did what was asked of them to protect not just their whānau or their aiga, not just their own community, but to protect everybody. That shows real leadership.” 

Bloomfield imparted wisdom to the audience in Te Aratai College's auditorium and asked that everyone remember and reflect on the late Fa'anānā Efeso Collins as he shared his own thoughts and life lessons. 

“What is the definition of leadership? Leadership is an invitation to collective action. Leaders don’t do anything by themselves. It’s about us, it’s about the team.  

Leaders don’t tell people what to do, they engage with people. They invite them to think about the common purpose.” 

Bloomfield reflected on the values of kindness and courage as he spoke about Fa'anānā.  

“We are seeing so much courage when we look at the tributes for Fa’anānā - the courage to speak truth to power.  

How courageous do you have to be to be Sāmoan and stand for Mayor in Auckland? It takes huge courage to do that. Fa’anānā was an example of courage.” 

EPC was thankful to be a part of the PYLAT event and to be recognised for their work during the pandemic alongside other Pacific providers and collaborators.  

Thank you to Te Aratai college’s staff and students for hosting the event and to Sir Ashley Bloomfield for taking the time to engage in talanoa with the community


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