When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opens Auckland to the winterless north and majestic south, it will also open the floodgates on Māori.
Her stand-ups speaking to desperate Kiwis denied travel to their holiday homes will not only open the highways but also place Māori in front of a steam roller called Covid.
That's why the countdown before Christmas is critical but for a different reason - a reason of humanity.
Māori are in a race against time. But it's an unfair and unjust race where the finish line is continually moved further and further away from us.
Yes, the 20 District Health Boards around the country will reach that magical 90 per cent vaccination rates, but it's also guaranteed that the majority of that 10 per cent NOT vaccinated will be Māori.
That's why it is even more imperative the Māori data Whānau Ora applied successfully to the High Court for from the Ministry of Health be made available.
No one wants Māori exposed to the full frontal assault of Covid-19.
Pandemics have a history of rampaging through indigenous peoples. The Spanish Flu pandemic in Aotearoa was catastrophic.
In 1918, Māori numbered around 50,000 of the total population of 1.14 million Kiwis.
Despite the small population base, the virus wiped out 2500 Māori – 7 per cent of the Māori population gone. Māori were 27 per cent of the total deaths, which were 8 times higher than non-Māori because of low immunisation numbers caused by living conditions and of course poverty.
Does anyone else see the similarities?
On Monday, Whānau Ora, of which I am chairwoman, dispatched 70 trained kaimahi and 4 mobile clinics to support the Te Tai Tokerau effort. We do that because we must help our whānau regardless whether they are iwi or urban.
Politicians will play the cash card, pointing out how much pūtea they have managed to squeeze out of Ardern and Grant Robertson to fund this Māori vaccination rollout and make our people appear as ungrateful beneficiaries.
If they had valued the advice of Whānau Ora last year, and again in February, when we outlined what would happen if they did not vaccinate Māori early, we would not be this mad dash to vaccinate Māori.
Who said History Never Repeats?
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait is a Rotorua District councillor and member of the Lakes District Health Board. She is also the chairwoman of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency.