Kawerau mayor Malcolm Campbell is frustrated people in his community have been asked to travel more than 30km to receive their Covid-19 vaccine.
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board has vaccination centres in Kawerau and Whakatāne, but Campbell says he and others he knows have only been given the option of receiving their jab in Whakatāne.
But the health board said people were given the option and because the Whakatāne centre was bigger, appointments were often available there sooner.
Campbell said he was trying to show leadership for his community by getting his vaccine as soon as possible but found "the whole system was broken".
When he rang the DHB's 0800 number, he was first offered an appointment time in Whakatāne and was only given one in Kawerau after he kicked up a stink.
"If I'm having to do that, who else is having to do that?" he said.
"I demanded that I go to Kawerau. I'm not very happy about it. There are a lot of people who have taken heed of what I've said and have insisted on Kawerau too. But they [the DHB] should be offering it first."
Campbell said there were a lot of people in Kawerau who couldn't make it over to Whakatāne and if they were only offered an appointment in Whakatāne, they might just give up on getting the jab altogether.
If they were not as pushy as he was, they either would not go or would have to arrange for family members to drive them over.
To add insult to injury, when Campbell was visiting Tauranga Hospital, he was offered a jab off-the-cuff because the hospital had too many.
"At least they weren't wasting them," he said.
Kawerau District councillor David Sparks said he too was only offered the vaccine in Whakatāne when he rang the health board.
After a long wait trying to get through on the DHB 0800 number, Sparks was told by the call-taker based in Tauranga that there was no facility in Kawerau, and he would have to go to Whakatāne.
Sparks said he was a "little cross" after discovering there was a facility in Kawerau and it was never offered to him.
"There are people here who have difficulty with transport. I don't think they've handled it at all well," he said.
"It's fair to say, there are a lot of confused people who don't know whether to ring the 0800 number or wait for a text."
The Bay of Plenty DHB is currently vaccinating groups one, two and three, which includes border workers, frontline workers, those living in rest homes, people aged 65 or older, people with underlying health conditions, people with disabilities and pregnant women.
DHB Covid-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson said when people in these groups rang the Covid-19 vaccine booking centre team on 0800 829 001, they were advised of appointment availability times in Kawerau and Whakatāne Covid-19 community vaccination centres.
"The Whakatāne centre at 11 Quay St is a larger site and able to administer more vaccines per day, so sometimes appointments may be available sooner in Whakatāne than at the Kawerau centre," Richardson said.
"That is an option for them if they want an earlier appointment."
The Kawerau vaccination centre is currently open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10.30am to 2pm but from Monday, July 26 its opening hours will be from 9am to 3pm.
From Monday it will also be increasing its capacity to be able to administer up to 156 vaccines each day.