National | Kiingitanga

Waikato-Tainui, Tuwharetoa leaders call for Māori to get the jab

King Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero Te Tuawhitu and Tuwharetoa paramount chief Sir Tumu Te Heuheu are banding together to encourage all Māori to get vaccinated.

The call follows Māori vaccination rates starting to improve, given mobile units and other innovative strategies by Māori health providers.

However, Māori remain significantly behind other communities and misinformation is widespread. Kīngitanga spokesman Ngira Simmonds says a mass vaccination drive is being organised in response to the call by the king.

"This week, in partnership with several Māori health providers here, we're standing up a mass vaccination centre at Hopuhophu.

"The goal for that day, this Saturday, is 1000 people to come."

Simmonds says there are also vaccination centres all over Waikato, including one at Tūrangawaewae.