CLING’s observations and recommendations from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response

CLING as a network collated COVID-19 materials for CALD communities every week throughout the March-May lockdown (throughout Alert Levels 4, 3 and 2) and disseminated these materials through its Facebook page and sector mailing lists in Canterbury and around New Zealand. As a result of the oversight into communication practices gained through this work, CLING produced Communicating with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities during disaster: Observations and recommendations from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response . This report notes that while some information for CALD communities was highly accessible and effective, especially when it had been produced in partnership with recipient communities, some COVID-19 resources for CALD communities were not created and delivered in line with communication best practice. Causes for concern included:

  • The delay in making translated/interpreted information publicly available.
  • Seeming inconsistency around the selection of languages for translation/interpreting.
  • The failure to provide important information on translated/interpreted resources such as date and the source of the message.
  • The limited usability of some online platforms.

Similarly, while large amounts of information were available, this information was produced by so many agencies that people did not necessarily know where/how to find the information they needed – pointing to the importance of cross-agency collaboration to the provision of effective disaster communication.