South Auckland community leaders and kaumatua converged on Manurewa Marae today to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, in the hopes of encouraging more vulnerable people in the community to get the jab.
Manurewa Trust Board chair Rangi McLean and Manurewa Marae CEO Takutai Moana Natasha Kemp were among those who received their first doses.
"It's for the benefit of our people. Their health and wellbeing is paramount,” McLean told 1 NEWS.
Manurewa Marae is the first marae-based clinic to roll out the vaccine, with kaumatua and kuia first in line.
“We're going to be part of history as the first marae to be able to roll out the vaccination,” McClean said.
The clinic will have the capacity to vaccinate up to 300 people a day.
“We want to show leadership and say to our whanau, 'actually, this is safe,’” Kemp said.
Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio received the jab in Ōtara today and urged the community to be cautious ahead of the trans-Tasman travel bubble opening.
“There are people excited about the two-way, quarantine-free travel zone between Australia but I’m also asking our community in particular to be cautious,” he said.