Vaccination events today at Whangārei's Kensington Stadium and the Otangarei shops aim to boost the region's sluggish jab rate as Covid-19 continues its spread through Northland.
The renewed push for jabs comes as Northland reports four new cases. Three are connected to existing cases while the fourth is still being investigated.
Three are understood to be in the Kāitaia and Dargaville areas.
The number of cases in Northland in the current Delta outbreak — 39 — now outstrips the total for all of 2020.
Demand for tests remains high, with 985 swabs taken throughout the region on Thursday and 1276 people vaccinated.
However, according to the Northland District Health Board, as of yesterday 17,122 Māori in Tai Tokerau — 33 per cent of the eligible population — had yet to receive a first dose.
Vaccination events around Northland this weekend include Raumati Whānau Day, a drive-through clinic at Kensington Stadium, on Western Hills Drive, from 10am-4pm.
That will be followed by a twilight vax clinic at the top shops in Otangarei from 5-7pm, organised by Te Hau Āwhiowhio ō Otangarei Trust.
Both events will offer live music, free kai, giveaways and prizes such as mobile phones, fitness and gaming packs.
This week's new infections included Dargaville's first cases, a 30-year-old mother and her baby who tested positive on Wednesday.
That prompted Kaipara marae and Māori health providers operated by Ngāti Whātua, Te Uri o Hau and Te Roroa to mount a combined response in the Dargaville area.
A vaccination site has been set up at The Warehouse and Covid testing is available at Dargaville Medical Centre.
Meanwhile, a week-long vaccination drive by Te Whānau o Waipareira and Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency has wrapped up with just over 1200 vaccinations delivered as of Thursday night.
The final tally for the week was not available at edition time yesterday.
The Auckland-based health and social services provider arrived in the North last Sunday under the motto Fight for your Whakapapa, aiming to boost vaccination rates and take pressure off weary Northland health workers.
Though based in West Auckland, as many as 90 per cent of Waipareira staff taking part in the drive are of Ngāpuhi descent.
Four mobile vaccination clinics and 70 staff visited different areas each day, including isolated settlements such as Broadwood, Panguru and Mangamuka.
Kaimahi (workers) drove hundreds of back roads with loudhailers inviting whānau to get their jabs. They also created a festive atmosphere at each site with music, dancing, prize draws and supermarket voucher giveaways.
The team was due to head back to Auckland last night.
Te Whānau o Waipareira originally planned to go door-to-door visiting unvaccinated Northland families.
However, despite a court order, the Health Ministry would not hand over records of who hadn't yet got the jab.
That left the organisation to go on what frustrated chief executive John Tamihere described as a ''fishing expedition'' by setting up in areas with low vax rates and seeing who they could reel in.
''We've come up here to give our brothers and sisters a bit of a break, because they've been going at it for two years and their staff are stressed. On a good day we have capacity to do 2000 people, if we knew how to reach out to them.''
Tamihere said the organisation would go back to court in another bid to get the data.
Unvaccinated whānau would not be bullied as the ministry claimed but invited to get a jab if they wanted it, he said.
Earlier this week director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the refusal was based on some iwi, such as Ngāi Tahu, not wanting the data shared.
■ Go to www.northlanddhb.org.nz/home/covid-19 for more information about vaccination and testing clinics this weekend.