Understanding Cultural and Health Securities
Dr Safua Akeli Amaama1
1Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
In the Pacific region, issues relating to health (in)security haslong been a looming crisis forthe metropoles.However,the COVID-19 pandemichasacceleratedthese tensionsandanxietiesin how governments have responded, and continue to do so.WhileStates havemobilised to lessen the impact on their citizens,the broader implications ofmeasures tocontainthe virushas been felt in multiple spacesand communitiesin the region.Government legislation and policies to counter the pandemic’s impacthave included theinstigation of a State of Emergency with shifting conditions and criteria.Simultaneously,communities have mobilised to ensure thesafety of their family, friends, villagesandneighbourhoods.In some cases, these measures have drawn criticism for itsimplementation. However, this paper draws on the recent and current experience of Pacificpeoplesto better understand the climate of emergency and implicationsrelating to healthand cultural security practices.
Safua Akeli Amaama is the Head of New Zealand and Pacific Histories and Cultures at Te Papa Museum. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Queensland. Safua has research interests in cultural heritage, gender, governance and health.