Some of the island’s elected representatives, notably those who are not in the so called cabinet caucus, have resorted to the age old tradition of calling for a public demonstration in an attempt to try and force the government to close the borders.
This is not the first demonstration of a political nature for Niue; it has happened before but it is so rare that the number of times can be counted on half the fingers of one hand. So why a demonstration at this time when our elected representatives should all be united in backing the government in its attempts to stop Covid 19 from making landfall.
One obvious answer is that some Members are peeved at being denied an opportunity as elected representatives to be part of the solution to the current crisis. The sitting of the Niue Assembly scheduled for this week was cancelled. Government supporters on the other hand say that it is no more than a stunt by the organisers to push their own political agenda. For whatever reason, there is now a realisation that this pandemic is the greatest threat to face the island in modern times. Historically, from the time of the first Polynesian settlers, the solution to any threat was to repel at all cost any foreign invaders. We could say therefore that we’re doing no more that what our natural atoll survival instinct demands. We could. But it’s a long way from the world of Huanaki and Fao to the world of Covid 19. Putting a protection bubble around Niue is certainly doable but there has to be some strings attached. As much as some of us would like to, we cannot completely cut ourselves off from the outside world. Our current lifestyle together with the illnesses that come with it has effectively precluded that option.
The one god-given gift that we have is our relative isolation; we’re a single small island surrounded by deep ocean. That in itself is not only a great head start but also a good starting point. Use our buffer zone.
The second point in our favour is that our only point of easy access to the outside world is Auckland and in connection with that, there are people in New Zealand who are also keeping a close eye on this far flung shore of the realm. We are not alone, there is help if needed.
But before we can ask for that help, oi aue ma haaku a tau fakahelehele na e, let’s come together as a community and fight this thing as one people, the descendants of Huanaki and Fao.
Featured image: by PIRO4D from Pixabay.