Vaccine drive for Iwi and Pacific Island people in Christchurch

By Tumamao Harawira

Māori and Pacific leaders are encouraging their communities to get vaccinated against Covid-19 at the new Maui Clinic @ The Hub Hornby which opens on Wednesday, July 28.

Dame Aroha Reriti-Crofts (Ngāi Tūāhuriri) and Rev Fitifit Luatua (Samoan) are championing the Maui Clinic @ The Hub Hornby and the collaboration between Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi, Tangata Atumotu Trust and Life Pharmacy Hornby, that have come together to set up the clinic in the Hub Hornby shopping mall.

“I implore all whānau to protect themselves against these Tauiwi diseases. I got vaccinated for my whānau, my hapū, and my iwi,” Dame Aroha says.

Rev Luatua says he does not want to see what’s happening overseas happen here. “I believe it’s part of our community's role to look after all our people, families, and children and to keep them safe.”

Following the opening, the first vaccination will be carried out in the clinic at 9.30 am on Wednesday and it will operate seven days a week until at least the end of October.

“Maui Clinic @ The Hub Hornby is about making vaccination accessible to everyone on the west side of Christchurch, particularly our Māori and Pasifika communities,” says Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi, General Manager, Alison Bourn.

“We couldn’t do it on our own, so it was only logical to reach out to our partners and work together to create a clinic where all whānau will feel relaxed and welcomed.”

Tangata Atumotu Trust general manager, Carmen Collie, says they are proud to lead a by-Pasifika, for-Pasifika response to Covid vaccinations.

“We are delighted to be working alongside our Māori brothers and sisters to achieve high rates of vaccination for both communities.

“The Maui Clinic aims to provide friendly faces in friendly spaces. Our navigators are available to help with bookings, transport, and translation in order to remove barriers to access and to help alleviate some of the anxieties associated with receiving a vaccination.“

Life Pharmacy Hornby owner Ceri Benger says that as health professionals actively engaged in community care, they noted the confusion that was being expressed by their patients about access to vaccinations.   

“We wanted to create a welcoming space for all cultures to ensure everyone has the support they need to access protection against Covid-19.  We strongly believe that together with our caring team of pharmacists, registered nurses and administrative support staff will provide an exceptional experience.”