It was wonderful to see more than 130,000 New Zealanders step up and get vaccinated on Super Saturday. If you were one of the 5378 people who received a dose in our DHB region, thank you for putting your community first. Thanks also to the many health workers, volunteers and local businesses who helped the day run smoothly and made Super Saturday so successful.
I spent the day visiting vaccination centres across Palmy, distributing prizes and assisting in any way I could. Helping out included even holding a baby so her mother could get vaccinated! I also had a team of volunteers making phone calls to promote Super Saturday. It was a day of everyone in our community doing their bit, and I'd like to thank you for doing yours.
It's up to all of us to make the choice to be able to do more of what we love, see the people we love, and protect those who can't be vaccinated. We know the vaccine is highly effective if people have both doses. That means if you do catch Covid-19, you're far less likely to fall seriously ill and less likely to pass the virus on to others. That's why we want to see as many Kiwis vaccinated as possible, as soon as possible.
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If you haven't managed to get your first shot yet, I'd really encourage you to do so now, to ensure you're fully protected in time for summer. You can book at bookmyvaccine.nz or by calling 0800 28 29 26. Some vaccination centres don't even require a booking – you can simply turn up. Check out covid19.govt.nz to find somewhere close to you, or call your nearest pharmacy to see if they take walk-ins.
We've been celebrating Pasifika language weeks in the electorate office with a Tuvalu and Fiji afternoon tea, and soon I'll be celebrating with our Niue and Tokelau communities. Celebrating languages is a great way to keep cultures alive.
We also have our last Coffee and Politics event for the year on Thursday, November 4, at Cafe Royale, 6.30pm–8pm. Our guest speaker will be list MP Rachel Brooking. It will be a fabulous opportunity to catch up on the year that was, and chat about the way ahead.
Thanks again for all your efforts to look out for each other at level 2. Let's keep working to get those vaccination rates up and keep Palmerston North a supportive, vibrant community.
• Tangi Utikere is the MP for Palmerston North.