The outspoken co-leader of the National Māori Pandemic Group (Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā) Dr Rawiri Jansen is no longer a member of the government's immunisation implementation advisory group after quitting because he says his voice wasn't being heard.
Speaking to Radio Waatea this morning, Dr Jansen says he was frustrated by the refusal to adopt an age adjuster, so Māori could be included in the high-risk elderly group at 50 or 55 rather than 65.
Despite Māori health providers targeting Māori with underlying health conditions in the early rollout phase of the vaccine, Dr Jansen believes the majority of Māori still rely on mainstream health services.
"The work that we're doing on the advisory group wasn't influential enough," he says. "So if it's not working, the problem could be me in the advice I'm giving, it's possible. Or it could be that the advice is going to the wrong place.
"Part of me goes 'oh well, whatever, if it's not working, get out of the way."