Ngāti Kahungunu iwi say they are focused on getting whānau vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available, following the announcement of Auckland's alert level 3 three-day lockdown.
"We have in the past shown how we can keep our communities and our marae kainga safe, and we must do it again," Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said.
The first to be vaccinated are border workers followed by their whānau, and second rank will be frontline first responders' services such as St John, health workers, and GPs.
"It is right that the Government has identified the border workers and their whānau as first recipients of the vaccine.
"Right on their heels will be kaumātua, rest homes and elderly before they open up to the general public to access.
Tomoana says during the last lockdown, Ngāti Kahungunu did a lot of security work around the communities and local marae, and the conversation for potentially getting vaccinated had already started.
"It's about creating manaaki for yourself and people around you.
"It's time to prepare for the future.
A meeting this morning with the Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) Chief Executive Officer, Keriana Brooking, confirmed that the process to vaccinate the elderly will be followed locally.
"Kaumātua are scared," he said, "but they are the most precious and most vulnerable. They will lead by example."
The HBDHB and the Iwi will be working with communities to ensure equitable access is guaranteed across the region.
"Māori and Pacific Islanders make up 25 per cent of our border workers, it's important we look after one another and get vaccinated."
However, Māori and Pasifika appear to be more hesitant in getting vaccinated, but Tomoana says it often comes down to trust with your local health providers.
"It seems suspicious because these viruses come to us from colonisers and we've always had low access to good health care.
"But we have our own medical experts that advise us [the vaccine] will be alright.
"The hesitancy is real, but it helps when it's our own encouraging us."
Police will continue to work with iwi and other agencies regarding any increased need to close borders to protect our loved ones, especially those who are more vulnerable.
Those aged 16 years old and younger will not be included in this rollout as the iwi says they do not need to be vaccinated.