The first marae-based COVID-19 vaccination centre has opened in south Auckland, with marae leaders getting the jab.
Manurewa Marae, which also serves as a primary health care clinic, will be able to vaccinate 300 people each day.
First to be vaccinated were kaumātua and kuia. After a quick QR code scan, hand sanitiser, a temperature check, and some paperwork, marae co-chairperson Rangi McLean was first, followed by marae CEO Takutai Moana Natasha Kemp.
"We wanted to start off with our elders because we wanted to lead the way," McLean says.
"We can't expect whanau to do it if we don't do it ourselves," Kemp adds.
The vaccinations at the marae will first focus on high-risk patients who are part of their health clinic.
South Auckland has been hit hard with COVID-19 outbreaks, but now it's hoped that having a vaccination centre at the marae will provide reassurance to those who still have questions about getting the jab.
In a recent poll by Three's The Hui, more than 20 percent of Māori said they'd be unlikely to get the jab.
"There's always reluctance in our community, having the right information, getting that information from the right people, credible people that you know. That's why the marae put up our hand to say, 'we want to do this for our community'," Kemp says.
Nearby, a vaccination centre opened at Manukau Institute of Technology in Ōtara with Minister Aupito William Sio getting jabbed to encourage his Pasifika community.
"We joke about it, 'I'll get it when you get it'. And so I'm here to get it to give them confidence that it's safe and we all need to do it," he says.