Te Mātāwaka caucus support the call from iwi leaders, and Māori providers for a COVID-19 vaccination rate of 95 percent for Māori, Pasifika and other marginalised communities before further lifting COVID-19 restrictions.
“The Green Party supports an elimination strategy at least until vaccination rates are high enough to protect Māori and Pasifika communities, and vaccines are approved and available for our tamariki,” says Te Mātāwaka chair, and Greens Health spokesperson Dr Elizabeth Kerekere MP.
“The current COVID outbreak is having a disproportionate impact on Māori and Pasifika communities, particularly in Auckland. While these communities have been leading the way to protect their whānau, hapū and iwi, it remains the case that Māori and Pasifika health providers do not have the resources they need to keep their communities safe.
“Many Māori health providers have been left to fundraise so they have the resources to access whānau in rural communities, or for those who do not have a way of getting to a vaccination centre.
“A Te Tiriti-led response to COVID-19 needs to recognise the importance of Māori-led strategies for Māori. Māori leadership is imperative, and we need to listen to Māori health experts and representatives who have recommended sticking to the elimination strategy at least until we have achieved a 95 percent vaccination for Māori.
“We also recommend the same vaccination rates among Pasifika before restrictions are lifted. Work to achieve this needs to be led by Pasifika communities.
“The Government confirmed today that it will make another announcement later this week about how it will support an increase in Māori vaccinations.
“Te Mātāwaka is calling for an urgent increase in funding support for Māori and Pasifika health providers so they can support their communities to get vaccinated in a way that is accessible to them,” says Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.