Auckland hapu Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is partnering with iwi across the country in an attempt to welcome more Whānau to get vaccinated.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has been managing its vaccination centers and a mobile vaccine during the shutdown.
But they acknowledge that people living far from their own iwi and residing in the Auckland region would need vaccinations.
Rangimarie Hunia, CEO of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia, said that it was very important for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai maia to support iwi throughout Auckland.
He said they have been working very closely with other Maori-run vaccination providers.
“We are going to great lengths to make sure we remove the access barriers for whānau and therefore part of that has meant reaching out to iwi so they can be the ones to convey messages to the people who live in Tamaki to come in and look at us. . “
“We have reached out and some iwi have contacted us and asked if there are supports that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei can connect them with when it comes to vaccinations and testing.”
Hunia said whatever it takes, the hapu is prepared to look for different ways to make sure Tamaki’s Maori can get their vaccinations, including working with local marae like Papakura and Manurewa marae.
They recently partnered with the South Island iwi Ngāi Tahu to ensure that South Island Whānau living in the Auckland region received their dose of the pfizer vaccine.
The executive director of Te Rūnanga or Ngāi Tahu, Arihia Bennett, said that Ngāi Tahu was strongly connected with various iwi throughout Aotearoa.
He said that the long-standing relationship with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei formed through business, whakapapa and cultural engagements has meant that Auckland-based Ngāi Tahu whānau is receiving support.
“We have around 5000 of our Ngāi Tahu Whānau living in Auckland.”
“We are really in a push across the country to increase vaccination rates and where we have these really strong relationships with other iwi, we are open to making sure we get the messages out to our whānau to get along and get vaccinated.” ” she said.
Te Rūnanga or Ngāti Whatua COO Antony Thompson said that it didn’t matter which iwi you were from, we were all in this together.
He said they were encouraging everyone to get vaccinated at any of the Tamaki centers.
“Out of all the Ngāti Whātua rohe, we fully support the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei vaccination center.”
“It is important for whānau to also know that the West Auckland vaccination center is open and operational through Te Whānau or Waipareira and through Kaipara, the Te Ha Oranga vaccination center.”
He said everyone is welcome at any of the vaccination centers and that it’s about supporting each other and staying connected.
“We are encouraging everyone across the country to come to any of those vaccination centers.”
“Let’s be one, together as one.”