Coronavirus: Māori health provider urges whānau to get COVID-19 vaccine

A Māori health provider is calling on south Auckland whānau to get the COVID-19 vaccine when the time comes.

It comes amid growing calls for south Aucklanders to be pushed up the vaccination queue as they grapple with the impact of another outbreak in the community. 

South Auckland is again front and centre of the latest COVID-19 outbreak, just as it was in the August lockdown last year.

During an interview with The AM Show on Tuesday morning, Turuki Healthcare chief executive Te Puea Winiata was asked what her message was about COVID-19 and the vaccine.

She says she'll be getting the vaccine because she's a grandmother, and is encouraging her whānau to get inoculated.

"We live in a household of three generations, so I want my mokopuna to be safe. Also, I go into a clinic every day and so I'm working in a higher-risk work environment than perhaps other people."

Winiata will be ensuring she and her staff are safe by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I need to ensure that I'm safe, my staff are safe, to actually be safe out in the community." 

As a result of the latest lockdown, Māngere-based Turuki Healthcare tested 300 whānau for COVID-19 in a single testing station lane at the weekend - they say that's three times more than normal.

Winiata said the team is working hard to manage resources to keep everyone safe.

"I've got a very experienced team in terms of testing - and we are working really hard to manage our resource so we can ensure that whānau will come in and get tested."