24 Apr 2020

Welfare packs given to people in vulnerable NZ suburb

1:20 pm on 24 April 2020

Hundreds of welfare packs have been distributed in one of the Wellington region's most vulnerable suburbs during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Cannons Creek, in Porirua city, is a community where 60 percent of the population is considered vulnerable, with underlying conditions.

John Fiso, of Pacific Health Plus, said many people living there were essential workers like cleaners and delivery drivers.

John Fiso

John Fiso Photo: supplied

Some houses have as many as 19 people across multiple generations living there.

Mr Fiso said the packs included things like food, hand sanitiser and information about the coronavirus in multiple languages.

"We drop all the food off at the gate and someone collects it and we wave to them and that sort of thing.

"But it does reinforce that we've got some pretty needy and desperate families in that area, because when you don't have income you don't have resources, you can't happily isolate yourself."

John Fiso said he was still worried about what Covid-19 could do, despite the diminishing number of cases.

He said community groups were working with little resource to protect the community, including distributing welfare packs to hundreds of families.

"Given we're in the highest needs practice in the whole of Wellington, where 60 percent of the patient population of about 2,300 all have underlying conditions."

"It's a wake up call to say, look, if that virus was to hit that community it would be devastated," he said.