The head of two Auckland vaccination centres is claiming hundreds of possible appointments every day aren't being used and he can't get a clear answer why.
The Government is pulling out all the stops to get Aucklanders vaccinated by opening all community centres to walk-ins, offering incentives and launching a mobile vaccination service.
But Te Whānau o Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere told the NZ Herald that vaccination appointment referrals to the Māori health and social services provider's two sites in Henderson had been much lower than their capacity.
On Monday, The Trusts Arena site - which had capacity for about 1800 daily bookings - were referred just 400 appointments from the national booking system, while the Catherine St site - with a capacity of about 1200 - was only referred 550.
Both sites vaccinated a substantial number of walk-ins daily, but Tamihere said hundreds of appointment slots were still empty.
He said the trend was evident last week, with the sites receiving a rough average of 400 and 600 referrals respectively per day.
Tamihere questioned why more people weren't being directed to the centres, given the consistent Government messaging for whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau to get the jab.
"While Auckland is in lockdown, this is when you go hell for leather and rev up your capacity, you don't cap it."
Last week, a Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) spokesperson said they would work with any vaccination centre partners who believed they could increase capacity safely.
The spokesperson indicated the number of referrals reflected people's desire to be vaccinated at Henderson.
"We continue to send invitations for people to book into these sites but, ultimately it is up to the individual to decide where they would prefer to make that booking."
Tamihere disputed this, saying there were several ways more people could be directed to the sites, including offering earlier appointments.
When asked why more appointments hadn't been directed to Te Whānau o Waipareira, the spokesperson said a hui had been held between the two parties and was "pleased with the outcome", but would not comment further.
However, Tamihere said Te Whānau o Waipareira vaccination referrals hadn't increased since that hui and he was still unclear as to why.
He questioned whether it was linked to restricted vaccine supply or issues with the national booking system.
The spokesperson didn't comment on Tamihere's speculation.
Last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern repeatedly denied vaccine supplies were running low. Since then, shipments of 750,000 vaccines had landed in the country from Spain and Denmark.
On Monday, Ardern said she wanted as many Aucklanders to be vaccinated in the next week to give them some form of protection from the Covid-19 Delta outbreak.
Tamihere said it was misleading to promote such a message when vaccination capacity wasn't being used.
"We've got enough capacity in Auckland, we've got to go really hard and fast.
"If we get to [alert] level 2, it's very difficult [to get people vaccinated] when people are going back to work."
The NRHCC spokesperson said an agreement had been reached with Te Whānau o Waipareira for its call centre to contact 6000 local unvaccinated Māori over the weekend to encourage them to book at the two sites.
However, Tamihere said that initiative had stalled as the two parties had disagreed over what the best contact method was.
Despite this, Tamihere didn't believe it would be successful if it was progressed.
"I know that people they use to make the calls might not have the right ability to get across their view to whomever they're ringing."
The NRHCC did not respond to Tamihere's comments on the initiative.