A Hawke's Bay mayor has suggested a unique form of punishment for pranksters who clogged a vaccination clinic's system with fake bookings, including one in his own name.
"Hold them down, and give them the vaccine," Wairoa mayor Craig Little told Hawke's Bay Today after the prank, adding that it was a "pathetic attempt at protest".
An entire morning of Kahungunu Executive vaccine bookings on Tuesday were briefly stymied by the pranksters filling out forms with fictitious names for the clinic at the Catholic drop-in centre in Wairoa.
Some of the names used included "Anna Filaxsis", "Omar Rapiti" and even Little's own name, which meant the game was up pretty quickly.
Little has already received both Covid jabs, and he told Hawke's Bay Today the "clowns" would get their comeuppance.
"It's absolutely pathetic. They need to wear on their shoulders the consequences, it's a pathetic way of protesting about the system or the vaccine.
"I believe in karma and they'll get bitten on the bum.
"Hold them down, and give them the vaccine."
Little said he was "sick" of anti-vaxxers in his community who didn't realise how good we have it in New Zealand.
As of Tuesday, 68 per cent of Wairoa residents had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
"The Government has done an exemplary job at encouraging people to get vaccinated, but these clowns think they can come along and put everyone's safety at risk," Little said.
The Catholic drop-in centre is run by Kahungunu Executive and contracts manager Kelli Wallace said the centre "mitigated" any problems arising out of the fictitious bookings.
"We've had a lot of walk-ins, and we've had more people book through our 0800 number," Wallace said.
"We've always had extra vaccine on our hands, so we never turn anyone away and we don't waste any vaccines, which we are incredibly proud of."
The centre was prepared for anywhere between 20 to 80 people per day.
To all the anti-vaxxers out there, she had this message - "Vaccination is our safety net, it's the safer option," she said.
"Delta is at our doorstep, and the vaccine is evidence-based.
"Think of our tamariki, we have an obligation towards them."
A Hawke's Bay DHB spokeswoman said it was monitoring its booking system and would report vaccine scams and misinformation to Certnz.
It encouraged anyone else who saw a scam or misinformation on the vaccine to do so as well.
The DHB along with regional leaders was also encouraging people to get vaccinated this Super Saturday.
Super Saturday is a nationwide day of action for Covid-19 vaccination to encourage everyone eligible and not yet vaccinated to join the millions of people in New Zealand already vaccinated.
Little said they were hoping for 300 people to go through the clinics on Saturday.
Hawke's Bay DHB chief executive Keriana Brooking said while Hawke's Bay was likely to hit 80 per cent of the eligible population having had their first dose this week, thousands more vaccinations were needed.
"Super Saturday is a great opportunity for us to vaccinate as many people as possible so we can all enjoy more freedom this summer."
Brooking said there would be nearly 30 vaccination clinics open across Hawke's Bay on Saturday, and goBay buses would be free for those travelling to get vaccinated.
"The Super Saturday clinics will make it super easy to get vaccinated. Either get your first dose, or if it has been over three weeks since your first dose, get your second."
Brooking said the Covid vaccines were the "most well-studied vaccines ever made".
"Nearly 50 per cent of the world's population has had a Covid-19 vaccine, and more than three million people in Aotearoa have had their first Pfizer vaccine. This means we have lots of data to show the vaccine has been thoroughly assessed for safety.
"If you are one of the many people who have already had the vaccine, well done. We still need your help - reach out to friends, whānau, and colleagues who are hesitant about getting vaccinated, or haven't done so yet, and encourage them to protect themselves and our community."