Saturday, December 4

PM among vaccine cheerleaders in the underperforming region

The government is stepping up efforts to vaccinate Maori against Covid-19 by taking the prime minister out on the road.

Raiha Tahuri gets vaccinated at Te Taiwhenua or Heretaunga in Hastings

Raiha Tahuri receives her vaccine at Te Taiwhenua or Heretaunga in Hastings.
Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

Jacinda Ardern is on a quick tour of the eastern North Island, where some of the vaccination rates are the lowest, and she was in Hastings this morning.

Cars lined up in Te Taiwhenua or Heretaunga for their vaccinations at their self-service clinic, which operates on Fridays and Saturdays.

Raiha Tahuri, 27, was excited about the company she had while receiving her first vaccination.

“I was vaccinated with the prime minister and two labor ministers [Meka Whaitiri and Kiri Allan] in the car too, “he said.

“It was a great experience, I wasn’t planning on doing this today, I’ve been trying to go overboard to get it, and I think today, Jacinda encouraged me to get it.”

He had some reservations about vaccination and wanted to investigate.

“I am not a vaccinated child, so I have not received any other vaccines in my life … so those were my reservations, I have a great fear of needles.”

But now, he felt he had done the research and said the prime minister gave him the final push.

“Yes, I think it was the prime minister who pushed me out of line to be honest. She really looks me deeply, very deeply in the eyes and asks me ‘Would you be willing to be vaccinated because I was willing to support you?’ and I said ‘yes’, I sincerely said ‘yes as a role model for other people my age too, because we have the lowest rates.’ ”

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern encourages a motorist to get vaccinated.
Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

In Hastings, just over 30 percent of Maori are fully vaccinated, while it was about 65 percent for both Pasifika and Asians, and about 55 percent for Pākehā and others.

Hastings Rural President Mike Paku said young people desperately needed the coup.

“They are our under 29s, they are the large unvaccinated group that we have. [We have] good acceptance of our kaumātua and kuia, so it is that younger age group, and that is where most of our population is located. “

Hastings Rural President Mike Paku

Hastings Rural President Mike Paku
Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

He believed they still had time up their sleeve before the virus could leak out.

“I think we have a window that is still open for us, as a country and as a Maori community, and it is supposed to be a four to six week window. We need to make the most of that window. As we see, I think the elimination is a bit outside the window. “

‘Keep your foot on the pedal’

The executive director of Te Taiwhenua or Te Whanganui to Orotū, Tania Eden, said her organization had been assisting with the deployment in and around Napier.

“We’ve been deploying it in our marae, we also did a drive-through at Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union. Now we just need to keep our foot on the pedal here.”

She said that was because there had been a drop, and she was particularly poor in Napier’s poorer suburb of Maraenui.

“We are finding that now it is stagnating, Maori do not come and get vaccinated. For example, there is 37 percent in Maraenui who have received one vaccine and only 19 percent in Maraenui have received two vaccines, so that’s a great concern for us. “

Orotū County Executive Director Tania Eden

Orotū County Executive Director Tania Eden
Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

Nationally, Maori first dose vaccination rates are around 600 per 1000 people, compared with 820 for Pākehā, around 970 for Asians and 750 for Pasifika.

Ardern explained why he was on the tour.

“Yesterday, and for the next few days, [I have] an absolute focus on promoting the vaccine program in New Zealand, but also hearing from our providers on the ground what else we can make sure we are doing to support their efforts. “

Dialogue with Maori leaders

He had conversations with Maori leaders.

“What can we do to make sure that we are now reaching our rangatahi as well? That means making sure our messages answer your questions, that we have people you trust that you trust who are involved in the launch, and that you hear what it is. which makes them doubt a little more. ”

Ardern visited Rotorua and Murupara yesterday. Today he also traveled to Wairoa, Flaxmere and Gisborne,

Tomorrow you will continue your visit to the Tairāwhiti Gisborne region.

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Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

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