With the flu season looming, Whanganui District Health Board says 24 per cent of the population in its area has been vaccinated against influenza.

The Ministry of Health's figures up to May 1 show that of New Zealand's 20 district health boards, Whanganui has had the best results.

A standout statistic was for Māori aged 65 and over, where 83 per cent of the population had been vaccinated. Across all prioritised ethnicities, Whanganui has reached 74 per cent.

Whanganui DHB chief executive Russell Simpson said a "whole-of-system effort" had produced the results.


"A lot of groups have combined to give us such good numbers – public health staff; primary health services; and kaupapa Māori providers."

He particularly acknowledged the efforts of the Whanganui Regional Health Network.

"Whanganui DHB has done an outstanding job - 83 per cent of Māori aged over 65 in the DHB have had a flu vaccine," Ministry of Health deputy director general population health and prevention Deborah Woodley said.

"Last year, national coverage for Māori for the whole season was 45.3 per cent."

Being immunised against the flu is particularly important this year as New Zealand tackles the Covid-19 outbreak, with the national campaign starting early to counter the threat of two viruses in circulation.