'A sausage and a shot' - Tāmaki vaccination centre runs all-night event

By Mare Haimona-Riki

The Tāmaki vaccination centre is pulling an all-nighter tonight to target those who otherwise are unable to get the jab.

Spearheaded by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, the centre opened at 8 am this morning and typically closes and will run through to 6:30 am tomorrow morning.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Māia CEO Rangimarie Hunia says the aim of the drive was to reach people who work at night or late in the evening,

“We know that for many of our families, getting the vaccine during the day is just not a reality.

“So we are going after that crowd, and the night owls like my kids, the ones that sleep all day and are up all night.”

It's business as usual at the centre during the morning and mid-afternoon. However, Hunia says things are looking to ramp up as the night goes on, expecting people of where they have a DJ lined up along with a free sausage sizzle, ice cream, and pizza - so they expect at least 200 people coming in throughout the night.

“We’ve had people booking in at midnight and people booking in at half-past three in the morning. This whole initiative came from night shift workers asking us to do something like this.

This is all in a conscious effort to target more rangatahi and encourage them to get the jab.

“We want it to be light, we want it to be a bit of fun, and we want to create more opportunities for our young people to be able to come into spaces that are safe.”