We are living in difficult times. COVID-19 has forced children out of schools, elderly into further isolation and most significantly, it has exposed the crippling social inequalities that the most vulnerable in our communities have endured for far too long. While the rest of New Zealand are on lockdown, essential workers are sacrificing time away from their loved ones to ensure that the country runs smoothly and safely. This mini series aims to raise awareness, encourage hope and honour our Pacific people working on the frontline during COVID-19.
Tanya Asa is a prosecutor for the New Zealand Police. As a prosecutor she advocates for victims of crime in the Manukau District Court. Community advocates have raised concerns about the protection of victims whilst in isolation. This is a concern shared by organisations such as Women's Refuge and in her role as a prosecutor for the Police, Tanya ensures that victims' voices are heard and that they receive fair legal representation.
Tanya understands that her work is crucial, particularly for those in vulnerable positions. She says, 'I have been working as a prosecutor for two years. It feels strange to be working during the lockdown. With everyone else at home, it’s hard to still maintain the mentality that I still have to work. My family are surprisingly ok with me working, they understand the type of work that I do. I don’t really have a choice. I have to work during this time'.
Tanya graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland. As a daughter of Samoa, raised in West Auckland, she has made her family and community proud by continuing to use her skills to empower those around her. As Tanya is sacrificing time and safety with her loved ones, an important message she wants to share is, 'Stay at home. Isolate but use social media to check up on families and your loved ones. Physically isolate but don’t mentally/spiritually isolate yourselves. Prefect love casts out all fear, in the end; love conquers all!!!'
STAY HOME. SAVE LIVES.