Te Arawa COVID-19 HUB welcomes Government support

Te Arawa COVID-19 Response Hub iwi leaders today welcomed additional resource support from the Government to boost vaccination numbers.

The Hub was formed during the 2020 lockdown to co-ordinate and combine resources and provide support to whānau across Rotorua and the wider rohe. It includes more than 60 hapū, trusts, health providers and organisations, and its recent focus has been centred on improving Māori COIVD-19 vaccination numbers across the rohe.

The Minister for Whānau Ora, Hon Peeni Henare, was in Rotorua today and met with iwi leaders, seeing first-hand the mahi that the Hub has undertaken over the last 18 months, including vaccination education drives.

Hub Chairman, Monty Morrison, says the Hub has been working with iwi leaders, hapū and organisations across the rohe to offer opportunities for communities to be vaccinated as well as providing education resources and kanohi ki te kanohi opportunities.

“Today’s additional resources will help us to reach those most at risk, particularly whānau in rural communities and those not well connected to health services.

“Māori are over represented in statistics like poor health outcomes – it’s our priority to protect our whānau from COVID-19. We know people may be anxious about the vaccine and have questions, and we say to them: we are here to help – lean on us, hoea te waka ki uta ra,” says Mr Morrison.

Project Lead, Karen Vercoe, says the Hub and its operational team have been working non-stop since the Prime Minister first announced the Alert Level 4 lockdown on 17 August.

“One of our core priorities continues to be the support of the vaccination rollout and today’s announcement will help us deliver more opportunities for education and vaccinations throughout our rohe. This latest outbreak provides further evidence of the urgency required to get as many people vaccinated, at least with the first dose, as soon as possible,” says Ms Vercoe.

“We are grateful to the Government to have been granted additional resources to help support this kaupapa in our race to protect all whānau.”

For the latest information, head to the Hub website and Te Arawa COVID-19 Facebook page.

People can connect with the team via the Facebook page, or by emailing covid19@tearawa.iwi.nz