Te Whānau o Waipareira vaccination support crews head for Far North

By Te Ao - Māori News

Te Whānau o Waipareira has sent a contingent of vaccination support crews to the Far North. The move comes following a call for support from the Tai Tokerau Whānau Ora Collective to help increase vaccination updates.

“There are four vaccination teams. We have 70 staff and a fleet of 27 vehicles going up to support our Whānau ora partners in Te Tai Tokerau for a week to help undertake vaccinations,” Te Whānau o Waipareira chief operating officer Awerangi Tamihere says.

Tamihere will be leading the teams heading to the regions of Omapere, Opononi, Mangamuka, Panguru, and Ohaeawai. Māori make up 17% of the population and have a larger percentage of people in the Ministry of Health's targeted groups.

Given the Māori communities' limited engagement with health services, a Māori-designed and Māori-led vaccination response has been actioned to assist with the Covid19 vaccine programme's overall success.

“Te Whānau o Waiparerira was founded by people in the North in the 1960s. They actually set up Waiparerira, so it’s only right to honour them and support them in this way.”

Tamihere says her teams will be working collectively with Whānau Ora agencies in the regions that know their communities well.

“Whānau Ora collectives across Te Ika-a-Māui are highly engaged and immersed within their own communities. Each provider knows their community well. They have connections and contacts across their area with key supports and referrals in place where needed.”

The Waipareira crew look forward to supporting communities in the north and will return to Auckland next Friday.