Coronavirus: The suburbs leading the way in the race to vaccinate, and those with catching up to do

Data released by the Ministry of Health this week has revealed which suburbs are leading the way in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. 

So far 60.5 percent of eligible New Zealanders - those aged 12-plus - have had two doses, and 83.1 percent their first. Epidemiologists say well above 90 percent will need to be protected against COVID-19 if we want to return to any kind of normality.

But the distribution across the country is uneven. While much has been made of which age groups and ethnicities are ahead and behind, the data allows us to see what suburbs are doing their best to protect the team of 5 million and get the country on track to reopen. 

Statisticians don't use the term suburb though - they call them SA2 areas, of which there are more than 2100 in New Zealand. 

While a handful of them have double-dose vaccination rates over 95 percent, some are struggling to even get a third fully protected. 

Without taking into account each SA2 area's demographics (for example, elderly have had access to the vaccine for much longer than younger people, and some areas will have higher proportions of marginalised groups with lower access to vaccination), here's which suburbs are leading the way and which have some catching up to do.

(Note: The data for some SA2 areas is listed in the ministry's data as 'masked' - it's believed this is protect the privacy of individuals in areas with extremely low numbers of people, but the ministry didn't respond to Newshub's request for clarification. These areas were excluded from the lists below.)

Top 10

  • Otahuhu Industrial, Counties Manukau - over 95 percent double-vaccinated 
  • Port Nelson, Nelson Marlborough - over 95 percent
  • Riverlands, Nelson Marlborough - over 95 percent
  • Timaru East, South Canterbury - over 95 percent
  • Irongate, Hawke's Bay - over 95 percent
  • Saxton, Nelson Marlborough - 91.8 percent
  • Linton Camp, MidCentral -  87.1 percent
  • Mount Wellington Industrial, Auckland - 82.8 percent
  • Ormiston East, Counties Manukau - 82.8 percent
  • Tower Junction, Canterbury - 81.8 percent

Bottom 10

  • Rolleston Izone, Canterbury, 23, 11, 37, 622, 297
  • Taharua, Lakes - 29.4 percent double-vaccinated
  • Oponae, Bay of Plenty - 29.4 percent
  • Nelson Airport - 29.1 percent
  • Rangataiki, Lakes - 28.8 percent
  • Waingarara-Waimana, Bay of Plenty - 28.7 percent
  • Galatea, Bay of Plenty - 28.1 percent
  • Kawerau Industrial, Bay of Plenty - 24 percent
  • Murupara, Bay of Plenty - 21.6 percent
  • Whangamomona, Taranaki - 18.8 percent