Misinformation a challenge in Te Tai Tokerau

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Treaty of Waitangi commemorations have been canned due to fears about spreading Covid-19.

Borders may go up and people in the north are on high alert.

Meanwhile, Covid Response Minister Hipkins said misinformation had been a challenge and told the media, "There is more misinformation up there by far, the highest concentration of misinformation in the country."

The minister's comments were based on a study showing low vaccination rates are influenced by misinformation. Northland now sports the lowest vaccination rate by one percentage point. 

The study showed the main sources of this misinformation are mainstream social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The minister acknowledged it's difficult to break through misinformation. 

National MP Dr Shane Reti has been vaccinating people across Northland and said the task to combat misinformation was always going to be hard. 

Getting the gas

While the government maintains that access isn't an issue in places like Northland, Reti says that for some getting the gas into a tank to get to a vaccination site can be difficult and is a barrier to protection. 

There were 172 new Covid cases today  - two in Northland 

The Northland figures of Thursday morning show: 

  • Northland (DHB of residency) to date – 137,764 (85%) people have received at least one dose with 123,284 (76%) fully vaccinated;
  • Northland (DHB of residency yesterday, December 1 - 438 people became partially vaccinated and 762 people became fully vaccinated. 31 people received a third primary dose;
  • in the past seven days, on average 295 Northland residents became partially vaccinated, and 568 became fully vaccinated;
  • of Northland’s Māori population, 78% of people have received at least one dose, with 63% fully vaccinated; and
  • of Northland’s Pacific population, 91% of people have received at least one dose, with 78% fully vaccinated.

Today was the last chance for people to be fully vaccinated by Christmas.