Racism stirs up dawn raids memory for Pacific nurse

September 1, 2021

Pacific nurses had enough to cope with without racist comments in the media, Pacific Nurses’ Section chair ‘Eseta Finau said.

'Eseta Finau
‘Eseta Finau

“We definitely don’t need the extra burden on our nurses’ shoulders. They are working long hours, day in and day out,” Finau said. “It’s not helpful, especially when they are out there trying to save lives. It just damages our will to work.”

Her comments follow racist social media posts about the Samoan church community in Māngere linked to the current Delta cluster.

Pacific people were also asked for passports at COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Bay of Plenty DHB, which has since apologised. “We have been encouraging our people to get vaccinated and these people turned up and were asked for their passports,” Finau said. “It just brings back memories of the dawn raids.”

Pacific nurses were working hard and risking themselves and their families to try and protect Aotearoa, she said. “We are all in this together and we are meant to support and help each other.”