"Jump on the waka and row it with us."
That's the message from 39-year-old Frank Grapl, who got his first Covid-19 vaccination two weeks ago and is encouraging others to do the same.
His comments come as a major national campaign aimed at getting 90% of eligible New Zealanders vaccinated by Christmas has been launched by NZME media titles, including the Rotorua Daily Post.
The campaign, titled The 90% Project, is being rolled out across the country to encourage New Zealanders to get the jab, along with information on how to get vaccinated and ways to encourage others to join.
Grapl got vaccinated "as a whānau with my mum".
"It's a good inspiration for our iwi with Ngāti Pikiao and Te Arawa for the others to say come on, hurry up, don't take too long, don't hold the rest of the country back and jump on the waka and row it with us.
"After all the advice and everything I keep hearing from people I trust including whānau, my own doctor, our Prime Minister, Dr Bloomfield and everybody else ... I would like to think they've got all our best interests at heart so I'd like to do my part."
Grapl said he got vaccinated to do "what was best for the country" and to be able to travel for work again. Grapl is the cultural director of his own business, Whakaari Rotorua.
"Normally we are touring the Czech Republic and Slovakia performing kapa haka and acting in film productions, and appearing on television there and in other countries.
"Covid-19 and Delta has not allowed us to do that any more. So, we want to help speed up the vaccination process if it helps increase opening the borders for travel for everyone."
He fully supported The 90% Project and thought New Zealand and the world could learn from the campaign.
"With social media and media in general … it can be a lightbulb for people that might still be on the fence.
"Anything that exposes that on a national level will be great for others to double-check themselves."