National | Covid-19 Testing

Te Kāika in Ōtepoti committed to getting whānau vaccinated

As Aotearoa reached a new vaccination milestone with over a million people fully vaccinated across the country, the team at Te Kāika in Dunedin has been working hard to make sure its community is safe.

Chief executive Albie Laurence says karakia and whanaungatanga are some of the things keeping his team going on the frontlines.

Vaccinations are currently the country's greatest defence.

The government has praised the health workforce, which has have been at the frontline vaccinating people in the thousands. Te Kāika is one of those teams putting in the work for Ōtepoti. Te Kāika is Ngāi Tahu's Village of Wellbeing in Dunedin, which focuses on Māori, Pasifika and vulnerable families.

Staying true to its vision it has a priority lane for Māori, Pasifika and essential workers. Manukura Laurence says it's "because our hauora is here to serve those groups."

The team is averaging over 1000 vaccinations a day out of the drive-through centre and has even set up a system that makes it possible to vaccinate a whole carload without anyone leaving their cars.

The Ministry of Health says more than 2.85 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date.
Of these, 1.82 million are first doses and more than 1.02 million are second doses.
More than 160,000 Mâori have received their first vaccination. More than 94,000 have also had their second vaccinations.
More than 106,000 doses have been administered to Pacific peoples and more than 64,000 have also received their second doses.
Yesterday 44,250 first doses were given and 19,082 second doses, bringing yesterday's total doses administered to 63,333. This is the biggest daily total to date.

"We decided it was best for us to front foot and as Māori in the community it was important as us to vaccinate our whānau and open it up to the community," Laurence says.

The team plays music, such as L.A.B., to get people relaxed. They say people should book ahead and make sure they bring the whānau. They ensure those arriving to be vaccinated are greeted with a friendly "kia ora" and "'talofa".

Laurence says the well-being of his team is paramount. "We start the morning with karakia, we end it with karakia. and we encourage our kaimahi to speak their native tongue."

The team have said that they are driven to do their best for their community and will do what they can to make sure Ōtepoti is safe and happy.