The head of a Māori-led vaccination centre has criticised Act Party leader David Seymour for seeking to "sabotage" a campaign to enhance access for Māori.
Seymour's actions have also come under fire from Māori political leaders who say they are "dangerous" and seeking to undermine the public health response.
Seymour encouraged his supporters not to book in for a vaccine and instead use a code reserved for Māori sent via confidential email.
Whānau Ora introduced the code as part of no-booking system from Saturday at its vaccination centres.
It is part of a push to make the rollout more equitable by increasing vaccine availability particularly for Māori, with the Māori vaccination rate compared with non-Māori less than two thirds and dropping week on week.
To date the rollout has implicitly prioritised European/Other and Asian ethnicities. This is due to the rollout's age distribution and the fact they are disproportionately represented in the essential worker groups, despite research showing Māori and Pasifika are much more vulnerable to the virus at lower ages.
The vaccination centre Seymour took aim at, run by Whānau Waipareira, has vaccinated five times as many Pākehā as Māori and Pasifika.
A 91-year-old kuia associated with Whānau Waipareira died three days ago from Covid-19 - the country's first Delta death.
Seymour tweeted an image of the code, which he said was sent to him, and said: "If you're worried about vaccination waiting times, you no longer need to make an appointment. All you need to do is use this access code."
The code he referred to is a priority access code for Māori who wish to get a jab at the Trusts Arena in West Auckland.
"The virus doesn't discriminate on race, so neither should the rollout," said Seymour,
who with deputy leader Brooke Van Velden was vaccinated in May under a Government priority system for party leaders and health/Covid 19 spokespeople.
Whānau Waipareira CEO John Tamihere said Seymour was attempting to "sabotage attempts to make the rollout more equitable".
"To put it in perspective, our programme itself has vaccinated 62,000 people, of those 48,000 are Pākehā, and just 10,000 are Māori and Pasifika.
"The only privilege so far has been for white and Asian New Zealanders, looking at the numbers.
"The system has been designed by white, middle-class folk for people like Seymour."
Tamihere said the priority code had nothing to do with skin colour but rather institutional problems that saw Māori at a population level with higher rates of deprivation.
"When 30 per cent of our people are on the dole, earning under $28,000 a year, and another 30 per cent earning less than $50,000, working their guts out while supporting families - there are bigger things on their mind than getting vaccinated.
"When you put all the data together and look at accessibility and appointments and even how to get there, it is clear Māori have not been a priority which is why all of this has been put together now."
Tamihere said it was all the more critical now amid an outbreak that has disproportionately impacted Pasifika, at 73 per cent of the 821 cases, and Māori at 7 per cent.
"The only way we can get through this is for as many people as possible to be vaccinated."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Seymour's comments and actions were "hugely disappointing".
The goal was for as many people as possible to get vaccinated, and it was "not unusual" for local providers to send messages directly to clients, she said.
"So to try to undermine that for no reason, in fact all the wrong reasons, is hugely disappointing."
Te Paati Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said Seymour was undermining and sabotaging the elimination strategy.
Māori organisations, like Whānau Waipareira, had stepped up with innovative solutions as the Government's Māori vaccination plan had failed to deliver.
"Māori are trying their best to keep ourselves alive and be proactive about contributing to the country's elimination strategy.
"It's a low life move, and divisive politics at its finest, which puts our whānau wellbeing and lives at risk."
Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said Seymour's tweet could put those running the vaccination centre at risk with extra people turning up.
"Sabotage of an essential health service, during level 4 where instead absolute care must be taken, driven by racism, using Māori health workers and communities as political tools.
"Shared publicly to stuff up those health centres and staff directly for doing their essential work for at-risk communities. How absolutely disgusting and dangerous."
When asked why he didn't put out a press release instead of releasing the health information also, Seymour said he would not have got the attention otherwise.
He said he was not "race-baiting" and accused the Government of seeking to improve statistics rather than actually boost overall vaccination rates by increasing supply.
"This Government policy infantilises one group of New Zealanders and infuriates the rest," he said.
The Ministry of Health has been approached for comment.