There is more to do to boost Covid-19 vaccination rates among Māori, the Whanganui DHB says.
Just 54 per cent of Whanganui DHB's Māori population of just over 12,000 have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, drastically lower than the overall DHB population, which is just shy of 75 per cent (74.7).
Māori are at higher risk of severe illness as a result of Covid-19 infection.
The breakdown of the rollout among Māori shows that 33.4 per cent are fully vaccinated, while 20.5 per cent have received a single dose.
A total of 46.1 per cent remain unvaccinated.
On the ground, two Whanganui region iwi leaders have commended the work of Māori health providers, many of which have been given significant oversight of the overall rollout in their respective areas.
The biggest issue is not accessibility to the vaccine, it's the simply the number of those coming forward, they say.
Pahia Turia, chair of Rangitīkei-based iwi Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa, said a number of Māori were apprehensive - be that through a generational feeling of mistrust or an anti-vax attitude developed through the spread of misinformation.
"It just appears that there is a particular demographic that just haven't been interested. It's about pulling out all the stops now to think about what we can do.
"The biggest thing is education - there's certainly a lot of negative media and misinformation out there. It's about being able to counteract that."
The question of how to boost those numbers was the harder task, Turia said.
"To be honest, I think for a small remaining number of people who haven't been vaccinated, incentivisation might work, but I think it's a bigger conversation.
"I think people are consciously choosing not to get vaccinated."
Further north in the Ruapehu District, which falls predominantly within the Whanganui DHB catchment, the district continues to lag significantly behind the rest of the country.
The district now has the second-highest number of residents who haven't received a single dose of the jab overall, according to Ministry of Health figures obtained by the NZ Herald.
The rollout in Ruapehu has predominantly been managed by Ngāti Rangi, holding twice-weekly clinics in Raetihi and Ohakune.
Pou hautū/operations manager Elijah Pue said the spread of misinformation, especially among vulnerable communities, was rife in the district.
"I think the issue is that you've got a huge anti-vax campaign happening at the moment - it's been happening for a long time.
"[Whether it's a] formal campaign or not, there are people in our community and across the motu who are quite happily perpetuating incorrect information."
Pue said he doesn't believe the issue is accessibility to the vaccine.
"There are all sorts of reasons I could guess as to why people aren't coming through. I think it's just the lay of the land across the district."
A total of 631 doses of the vaccine were delivered on Tuesday.
The Whanganui DHB said it would like to improve vaccination rates - particularly for Māori.
"We are working hard with health partners to reach all members of our communities, including those in rural areas," a spokesman said.
The DHB had information on whether people registered at households around the region had neither made a booking, nor been vaccinated.
"This information is defined by ethnicity and we are running pop-up clinics in the areas where uptake is low."
"We are working in partnership with Māori health and community-based health providers including general practices, pharmacies and PHOs across the district so that vaccinations are delivered by 'trusted faces'."
The spokesman said there was a lot of vaccine hesitancy and people needed time to make the decision about getting the jab.