Decorated war veteran Robert Bom Gillies led the way in today's vaccine rollout at Waikite Rugby and Sports Club.
At 96, Gillies is the last surviving member of the 28th Māori Battalion and a recipient of the Order of Merit.
He was first in a line of about 150 people receiving their vaccines at today's Te Arawa Covid-19 Response Hub outreach clinic in Koutu, Rotorua.
The clinic was primarily targeted at koeke (elders) but was also open to their whole bubble, including their whare and immediate whānau.
"Today is another step in the rollout of the vaccine in Rotorua," Te Arawa Covid Response Hub kaumātua Monty Morrison told the Rotorua Daily Post.
Morrison said having trusted faces was important, to build faith in the programme.
"The significance of having Uncle Bom here today is that he's brought with him three generations of his family.
"It's not just about us oldies getting the vaccine, but it's also giving an example for our own families to be able to register, make their appointments, and have their jab."
Morrison said hapū delegates were essential in spreading the message.
"The Te Arawa hub has a number of delegates who make contact with their communities, get the word out and help us to make sure everyone can be in the one place so that people can get their vaccine."
The number of vaccine recipients expected at this outreach clinic, Morrison thought, proved their efforts were reaching an audience.
"It's been oversubscribed. That's the reality of it," he said.
"We will do it again. There is a second opportunity that is going to take place later this month and there will be further opportunities as well, as we prepare for the general public rollout."
Te Arawa Lakes Trust representative Taparoto Nicholson said the notion of kinship was essential to supporting the vaccination programme.
"It is about family doing things together and about protecting the kinship," Nicholson said.
He said the outreach clinic and its approach was a way to build trust.
"Gaining trust is the hardest part and you can't do that from behind a desk.
"You've got to be amongst the people, ready to answer their questions straight-on."
GP Dr Grace Malcolm said the outreach clinic was an important step in normalising the vaccination process.
"That's the beauty of coming to do an outreach," Malcolm said.
"It helps to understand what the process is about: saving lives.
"People need to remember coronavirus kills. The Covid-19 vaccination is not killing people. It is saving lives."
Malcolm said there were misconceptions about side effects of the vaccine, the effects of the vaccine on the body and about the need for vaccination among young people.
"We all just need to be able to understand the roles that we play and how important it is that we all participate in the process," Malcolm said.
"We all need to do this."
The outreach clinic at Waikite Rugby Club today was the first organised by Te Arawa Covid-19 Response Hub and the Rotorua Lakes District Health Board. Both organisations will continue to work with hapū delegates to schedule further outreach clinics in the coming months.
Whanāu can find out more about these clinics on the response hub's Facebook page.
The Rotorua Lakes DHB vaccination programme is making progress, but has the capacity to immunise more people. The DHB is encouraging people in groups 2 and 3 to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the administration call centre on 0800 115 117 to make an appointment.
Meanwhile, in Western Bay of Plenty, vaccinations are under way for groups 1, 2 and 3. People in these groups should call 0800 829 000 to book their Covid-19 vaccines in Tauranga.