Russell was buzzing with activity yesterday as Covid-19 vaccination was extended to anyone aged 16 and over for the first time.
The Bay of Islands town — along with places like Ōmapere and Te Kao — is making the most of a health board policy allowing areas with populations under 1000 to start rolling out the vaccine to all ages.
About 220 people got their first jab yesterday with a similar number booked in today.
The Russell initiative is a partnership between Ngāti Hine Health Trust and the local branch of St John, but also involves a broad cross-section of the community.
Volunteers are managing the parking and greeting arrivals, Russell Medical Centre is providing the vaccine fridge, Russell Health Trust is providing kai and accommodation, and St John's two minibuses are shuttling people from as far away as Whangaruru, Karetu and Rāwhiti.
Russell has also set up its own booking service to bypass the problems dogging the regional phone booking system.
Among those getting their jab yesterday were Patu Sigley, New Zealand Volunteer of the Year 2020.
Sigley said her vaccination, in Russell's St John rooms, was quick and efficient.
The only time she had to wait was during the required 20-minute post-jab observation period.
''They're so well organised, it's lovely. It saves us having to go to Kerikeri. It makes such a difference.''
Alastair MacDuff tried earlier to book a Covid jab but found the Northland-wide system ''atrocious''. The Russell booking system, however, was ''seriously good''.
''It was welcoming, they gave me lots of information, and above all it was painless. I'd swear she didn't actually do it, and I hate this stuff.''
Everyone who got a shot was also given a hygiene pack with sanitiser, soap and wipes.
Ngāti Hine Health Trust nurse practitioner Polly Brennan said the priority group was still kuia, kaumātua and anyone with existing health conditions, but anyone aged 16 or over in the wider Russell area could book in.
Two-day vaccination sessions would be held every three weeks. Next time they would aim for 250 people a day to meet demand.
St John volunteer Bridget Hughes, who has driven the project, said Russell residents were privileged to have Ngāti Hine working in their town.
''It's such a cool partnership,'' she said.