"You're cared about, you're important, and you need to get vaccinated just as much as your 80-year-old grandmother."
This is how a Kāpiti high school student is encouraging her young Māori peers to get vaccinated for Covid-19.
Ngapera Parata, 18, is in her final year at Kāpiti College, and didn't believe she needed to be vaccinated until the recent Delta outbreak put the country into lockdown.
It was her older brother who convinced her of the importance of vaccination, and she was now using a similar tactic to talk to other young Māori.
"Telling our young people that they're important and they matter and they do have a voice is really important, because we feel like at times we don't even matter and nobody cares about us.
"Which is completely wrong, but that's coming from hundreds of years, and generations of being oppressed and put down."
"If people say why should I be vaccinated, or why are you vaccinated, I just say 'if you want our people to be heard, be present and be here forever, this is a place to start'."
"It's really helped, and that's kind of what changed my own mind."
Her passion for vaccination among her whānau and community was about standing up for Māori, she said.
"The big drive behind it is that I really care about my people and who we are as indigenous people to this land," she said.
"Looking at how pandemics have affected my people where I reside in Kāpiti - the influenza wiped out a lot of our people back in the day."
Now working with local Māori health provider Hora Te Pai, Parata said she was still seeing uncertainty among people her age, although there had been an uptake in the past months.
"We're still battling these opinions, but [before] there was so much fear and uncertainty, and that's real," she said.
"And as much as you'd like to go 'who the heck told you that?' ... at the same time you can't really blame them because there's no one providing the correct information."
"Our main message from the get-go has not been 'hurry up and go and get vaccinated right now' ...
"Our pitch has been more around raising awareness around vaccination, and why am I getting vaccinated, and helping to inspire others by reaching out to our Māori people."
Parata found most young people she knew were getting their news from social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, or from word of mouth.
Like her, many had not seen the urgency to get vaccinated until Covid re-emerged in Auckland in August.
"There is a little bit more urgency, as numbers rise there's a bit more uptake of the vaccine," she said.
"But at the same time for our people it's hard sometimes to step away from the norm, if your mates are doing one thing and it seems to work well."
"It's a lot of talking and swaying, it does get tiring at times - you feel like you're never going to get this person to change their mind."
Parata's role at Hora Te Pai was to connect with and inspire young Māori, and she said she was driven by a love for her people.
"I'm just proud to be Māori and proud to stand up for my people."
"And if anyone's going to help ourselves it's got to be ourselves, we can't rely on anyone or anything else, and we've just got to be proactive rather than reactive.
"If we ever get to the stage where it got really bad and case numbers were really high, it's kind of too late."