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The Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group has appointed a Pacific Covid-19 co-ordinator.

Chairwoman Hana Halalele announced Silou Temoana’s appointment on Wednesday.

“We have learnt a lot from the first lockdown in March,” Mrs Halalele said.

“Now that we are [back in] Alert Level 2, we are thankful that we have Silou in this role, and thanks to the funding from the Otago Community Trust.”

One of Mrs Temoana’s first tasks was to provide Covid-19 information to the local Pacific communities and convene a meeting of community leaders and key contacts across the region.

“It is vital that our families receive up-to-date information and also to get the support that they need in Level 2, but also as we continue to deal with the impact of Covid-19,” Mrs Halalele said.

“Silou will be available to liaise, co-ordinate and communicate with Pacific groups, agencies and employers in Waitaki.”

Mrs Temoana said it was important everyone in Waitaki was vigilant about health precautions and followed the Government’s guidance. She urged people to keep up to date with the latest information, observe 2m physical distancing and not have gatherings of more than 100 people.

Pacific community group leaders met with representatives from Safer Waitaki, the Waitaki District Council and the Ministry of Education on Wednesday night to develop a local plan “for ways that we can support our community”, Mrs Temoana said.

“It is important for us to be prepared,” she said.

“Please be safe, make sure we adhere to washing our hands thoroughly, stay home if we are unwell, and check in with each other.”

Mrs Temoana will work from St Paul’s Presbyterian Church from Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3pm.