One doctor, six planes and an ambitious plan to boost vaccination levels on the remote East Coast.
The flying vaccination clinic combines medicine with the proud history of the 28th Māori Battalion C company from this region.
It is the brainchild of orthopedic surgeon Dr Chris Hoffman and his friend Mahanga Maru.
Maru's father was a soldier in the C Company 28th Māori Battalion.
Born on the East Coast and now living in Wellington, Hoffman has been involved in the military for nearly 40 years.
"Mahanga Maru and I were talking about how difficult it is to get people vaccinated up the Coast," Hoffman said.
"That resonated with me, especially when we started to talk about all the descendants of the soldiers that fought - C Company 28th Māori Battalion."
Second-dose vaccination rates for Māori on the East Coast are well below the targetted 90 per cent.
Tokomaru Bay is at 69.30 per cent, Wharekaka (Tolaga Bay) is 65.7 per cent, and Ruatōria is 58.70 per cent.
The friends decided it was time to rally the troops in the battle against Covid, recognising those who fought in World War II for C Company on the planes.
The service is funded by Maru himself with the six pilots volunteering their time and aircraft to be part of this historic event.
On Saturday the six flying vaccinators flew into Tolaga Bay airstrip, to meet the Ngāti Porou Hauora vaccination team.
From there they headed to Ruatōria and Matakaoa.
Registered nurse Julia Brooking said the vaccination team traveled from Matakaoa to Tolaga to meet the planes.
"Covid Delta is getting closer and closer to the Coast," Brooking said.
"Community immunity is the best response and protection against Delta."
The planes were also carrying other significant cargo: the six aircraft have the names and numbers of the C Company soldiers on the doors and pictures of the soldiers on the tails.
Gisborne mayor Rehette Stoltz said the mission was vital to boosting vaccination levels in the region.
"We know that vaccination is the key to staying safe in this pandemic," Stoltz said.
"We know it's the best protection for this whole community this stage."
She urged whānau to get vaccinated.
"Please Tairāwhiti step up, it's our time to shine.
"Everyone needs to play their part and we know vaccinations save lives."