Samoa High Commissioner and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, HE Leasi Scanlan.
On Saturday 4th December, the High Commissioner (HE Leasi Scanlan) was invited to speak at the Pasifika COVID-19 Vaccination Festival at the Pelorus Sports Trust House in Lower Hutt. The Chairman of the Wellington Samoan Ministers’ Network (Rev Malaki Muaiava) opened the Event with a Prayer. This was followed by a Welcome by the CEO of the Pacific Health Services Hutt Valley (Afioga Nanai Mua’au) and speeches by High Commissioner Leasi and the Mayor of Lower Hutt (Mr Campbell Barry).
In his speech, Leasi acknowledged the many Programs organised by the Government and various Organisations to try and get more people to be vaccinated. Sadly, despite these many activities plus strong scientific and medical evidence confirming the benefits of getting vaccinated, there is still a large number of people who have yet to receive their vaccines against the corona virus. Leasi again pleaded with those who are still reluctant to get vaccinated that, even if they do not care about themselves to please get vaccinated for their children and their families. ‘We have many children who are too young to be vaccinated and elderly parents with medical conditions. These are the members of our whanau who are most vulnerable and at risk from contracting COVID-19, which you (the unvaccinated) will pass on to them.’ HE added that as the Government continues to introduce new measures restricting access to only those people fully vaccinated, the unvaccinated will be marginalised. Together with the inability to travel to see friends and families as well as the onset of new C-19 variants like omicron, it makes very little sense to continue to avoid being vaccinated. The High Commissioner concluded by imploring against believing the many conspiracy theories and misinformation circulating on social media. He again thanked the Government, the Ministry of Health, the various DHBs, medical doctors and nurses, all frontline workers and volunteers for the hard work and ongoing efforts to protect Aotearoa’s team of 5 million from the adverse effects of COVID-19.
The High Commissioner ended by also acknowledging, with appreciation, the many organisers, sponsors and volunteers for Saturday’s Event. Several members of the Diplomatic Corps also attended, including the Australian High Commissioner (HE Patricia Forsythe), who was invited to say a few words. The High Commissioner was accompanied by his spouse, Mrs Joyce Scanlan.