Auckland councillor Alf Filipaina has spoken of his family's grief - and urged all Kiwis to get vaccinated - after losing an aunt to Covid-19.
Peleupu Filipaina died in a Melbourne Hospital yesterday.
The former West Aucklander's husband, Situfu Filipaina, has also tested positive for the virus and is fighting for his life an intensive care unit.
"We don't know what's going to happen to him," Alf Filipaina said.
Daily Covid-19 infections have soared to more than 2200 in Victoria, which this week opened up new freedoms for the fully vaccinated after reaching 70 per cent double-dosed.
Nine people died of Covid-19 in the Australian state yesterday.
Alf Filipaina's aunt and uncle, both aged in their 80s, were unvaccinated, Filipaina said.
"I think it's important to say that. I don't know why [they hadn't been vaccinated]."
Most of his aunt and uncle's family live in Melbourne, where the couple - originally from Samoa - moved after raising their children in West Auckland.
But two of their children live in New Zealand, one in Wellington and another in Christchurch.
They gave Filipaina permission to talk about the family's loss.
"My cousin said, 'If Mum's passing can help other families see that Covid doesn't choose, it affects everybody, then it's okay'."
He urged everyone to get vaccinated.
If they had doubts, they could talk to a medical professional they trusted, Filipaina said.
"Because this is what can happen. And I don't want any of our whānau, our aiga to go through we're going through, but more importantly what my aunty and uncle's immediate family are going through.
"It's real. Please get vaccinated for your family and, as a community, let's get to that traffic light."
Across Auckland, 18,709 vaccine doses were issued yesterday - 3975 first doses and 14,374 second doses.
It means that 90 per cent - 1,286,279 people - of the eligible Auckland population has now received its first dose and 75 per cent have received their second dose (that's 1,078,399 of those 1,286,279 people).
And although that 90 per cent first-dose number across the region is comforting, the first-dose levels within the region's three DHB areas vary. For the Auckland City DHB it's 93 per cent, for Waitemata it's 90 per cent and for Counties Manukau it's 87 per cent.
For more on the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine and other things you need to know, listen to our podcast Science Digest with Michelle Dickinson.