The Government is giving $2.2 million to a Ngāti Kahungunu-led vaccination strategy to vaccination rates for Māori across its rohe.
Vans delivering vaccines and nannies training as vaccinators are some of the strategies the iwi will be utilising to increase Māori vaccination rates.
Currently, 68 per cent of Māori enrolled to vote have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Hawke's Bay - the strategy aims to increase this to 95 per cent by the New Year.
With 6600 enrolled Māori in the region yet to be vaccinated, it equates an investment of $333.33 per tangata whenua vaccination.
Ngāti Kahungunu Incorporated chief executive officer Chrissie Hape said it was important for Government to double down with a "by Māori for Māori", iwi-led vaccination strategy to achieve this rate before we transition into the traffic light system and borders open once more.
"It's encouraging to hear the ministers are supporting our approach, we're working with our Taiwhenua and providers across the rohe to ensure we can reach our goal of vaccination mobilisation," she said.
Hape said a mobile vaccination strategy means Covid vaccines will be taken to Māori via vans in a "street by street" approach starting in November and lasting into the New Year.
"It's not just about double-dosing our whānau, it's about building relationships with our people and considering what else they need to support their wellbeing.
"This strategy will aim to reach whānau that may be hesitant, to talk with them and provide information to encourage them to be vaccinated," she said.
Hape said that the rollout of this strategy will rely on the training of non-regulated vaccinators, in order to support relationships with whānau and provide support to our medical frontline workers.
"Retired nurses, clinicians, social workers, nannies, mentors, and youth-leaders will all be considered for our non-regulated vaccinators that will be undergoing training.
"We aim to adopt a whānau to whānau, and rangatahi to rangatahi approach in order for the younger Māori demographic to be reached," she said.
Hape said that the Māori population was always going to have lower vaccination rates coming into this population cohort, given that 50 per cent of the Māori population in the Kahungunu rohe are under 30 years.
"We asked for a different approach for Māori and we're encouraged by the Government's recognition of this. While this won't change where we find ourselves now, it's never too late for our whānau," she said.
Hawke's Bay DHB's chief executive Keriana Brooking said the DHB will be working closely with Ngāti Kahungunu to support the iwi-led vaccine initiative.
"The objective of everyone delivering the vaccine is to help protect our Hawke's Bay community.
"Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi will be working throughout the rohe to encourage whānau to get vaccinated to protect their whakapapa. They have the grassroot connections and relationships to reach our remotest areas," Brooking said.