A drive-through Covid-19 vaccination clinic has been set up to provide "continuous access" to the jab and to "speed up the process" of Māori getting vaccinated.
A free hāngī pack will also be given to everyone who gets vaccinated at the Te Arawa drive-through clinic.
The clinic will be open every Sunday and Monday until December from 10am to 6pm, and is located in the old Foodstuffs Warehouse at 33 Clayton Rd in Rotorua.
Korowai Aroha Health Centre chief executive and an organiser of the clinic Hariata Vercoe said there was a need to vaccinate Māori "a little bit quicker" following the recent lockdown and concerns about the Delta variant.
"If we gave people another option of getting vaccinated, we could actually contribute to the numbers that were coming through steadily."
The clinic would operate on Sundays and Mondays because that was when the hub was closed in town, she said.
"It's providing that continuous access for people who may not be able to get there on the days when the hub is open."
Vercoe said the hāngī was "a normal part of how we as Māori would do something".
"It's part of the manaakitanga that we would offer our whānau coming through to get vaccinated."
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao GP and member of Te Roopu Hauora o Te Arawa Dr Grace Malcolm said the drive was designed to "bring in our Māori people".
"Whatever it takes to get people moving and to get people into that drive-through – that is what we will be pushing.
"One way or another, people will get vaccinated whether it's through the vaccine or the virus. We have a choice as to how we decide to vaccinate."
Malcolm said the clinic had the capacity to vaccinate 1000 people per day.
"It is an all-out effort to get our people in to vaccinate because we do understand how serious the situation is."
There would be "a take-home hāngī pack for everyone who vaccinates" as well as spot prizes and gift vouchers, she said.
"There's always kai involved ... otherwise you're not looking after your people properly.
"It's all just a pat on the back to say 'well done, good on you for coming in'."
The hāngī would be prepared by Waiariki Hockey which was initially fundraising for the National Māori Hockey Tournament in Nelson on Labour weekend.
Waiariki Hockey organiser Parekura Rangitauira said the tournament had since been postponed, but they would continue with the fundraiser because they were "committed to providing the hāngī".
Rangitauira said they were preparing "fresh kai for the public" and "hopefully providing a good service to our whānau out there".
The hāngī pack had chicken and pork, along with potato, kumara, pumpkin, mixed vegetables and stuffing, she said.
Rangitauira said getting vaccinated was "really about protecting ourselves and our whānau".
"A lot of our kaumātua have done really well in getting themselves fully vaccinated pretty quickly but it's also our responsibility to protect them by getting ourselves vaccinated as well."
Two ways to book:
- Call 0800 28 29 26 and quote Te Arawa
- Visit //bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/ with the access code BHTKHZZY6E