Members from NZ's most notorious gangs band together to promote COVID-19 vaccine amid Delta outbreak

Leaders from New Zealand's most notorious gangs have banded together to urge Kiwis to get vaccinated in a new social media video. 

The video was planned by Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson in an effort to ramp up COVID vaccine rates in hard to reach communities. 

The video includes Head Hunters member Stephen Daley, Paula Orsmby of Mongrel Mob Waikato Kingdom Wahine Toa, Dennis Makalio and Harry Tam of the Mongrel Mob, Ta'alili To'omalatai of the King Cobras and Black Power members Michael Te Pou and Denis O'Reilly.

It starts with Denis O'Reilly urging people to contribute to the nation like he says he has since joining Black Power aged 19. 

"I joined the Black Power in 1972 when I was 19 years of age. I think I've had a pretty good life and contributed to the nation. I'd like to give every brother and sister out there the chance to do the same thing. I've taken a few shots in my time, I've taken my two shots against COVID and I'm asking you to do the same. Kia Kaha," O'Reilly said.

Next Stephen Daley said he got the COVID vaccine but doesn't want to push it on anyone. 

"I do wish for all of you to have an informed decision as to why it's good for us or bad for us, either. But as long as you're making the decision, that's up to you. I just want it to be an informed decision and not forced and not a decision that was made carelessly," he said. 

Daley went on to say he got the vaccine because he cares about his children and protecting his whakapapa. 

Paula Orsmby features next, saying if people are hesitant they should go and gather all the information they can to make an informed decision.

"You know our women are the maintainers and holders of our whakapapa. It's our whakapapa of course that we need to protect. It's about protecting our tamariki, our mokopuna. 

"Now if you haven't already been vaccinated, there's probably been some hesitancy there around doing so, all that we are asking is that you go and gather that information. We've got indigenous doctors that specialise in COVID. Get your questions answered and then intuitively if you feel that it's the right thing then go and vaccinate your whanau then do so," Orsmby said. 

Ta'alili To'omalatai was more straightforward in his approach, urging everyone to get the vaccine. 

"I'm here to send a message to all the people out there to go and have a shot, a vaccination shot for the safety of our community."

Black Power member Michael Te Pou said he got the vaccine for his community.

"We did this for our tamariki and for our mokopuna. So e tu e hoa. Do your bit."

Dennis Makalio said getting the vaccine was a "no brainer" for him. 

"At the end of the day I am looking out for my mokos, my kids. Whether it works or it doesn't, you know I am not going to take that risk. I'm doing it for my kids. All I can say is like who are you doing it for? Are you doing it for yourself? Or do you want to give it a go for someone else?" 

Harry Tam said everyone should get the vaccine to protect "our young ones who are too young to get vaccinated and our elders who are vulnerable". 

Tam said everyone is vulnerable to COVID so should get vaccinated.

"One thing we need to be clear about, this is not about the Government telling us. It's about the experts telling the Government that is getting us to vaccinate and protect ourselves," Tam said. 

Willie Jackson told NZ Herald the idea came about while Cabinet was trying to figure out ways to get the vaccine to reluctant and hard to reach communities. 

So far 88 percent of the eligible population in New Zealand has received their first dose of the vaccine and 76 percent their second.