Residents of Mangaweka want a vaccination clinic in their town after some have been forced to travel for more than an hour to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.
And their call is being heeded. Whanganui District Health Board has announced it has plans to send its mobile clinic to the settlement.
Located on the country's main state highway, the Rangitīkei settlement of Mangaweka was home to just 90 people at the last census - almost a quarter of whom are over the age of 65.
Rob Gilbert and Laura Sisson, the co-owners of Mangaweka's The Duke's Roadhouse cafe said three weeks ago, with no temporary clinic in Mangaweka or any free appointments in nearby Taihape, Whanganui was their only option for a vaccination.
"When you're out here driving an hour to get a jab, it's not great," Gilbert said.
"I did look into getting it done in Taihape, but it seemed like they just hadn't ramped it up enough."
Gilbert said that being on State Highway 1, vaccination was a priority for him and his staff, with a number of his customers being travelling Aucklanders - including some essential workers who have permission to cross the Auckland boundary.
"We realise that if there's going to be a point of contact around here, we would be that point. This is where people stop."
"We've got customers who live in Auckland and have businesses in Wellington and are driving up and down."
Most of his staff have now received at least one dose of the vaccine in recent weeks, Gilbert said, with most managing to book an appointment in Taihape.
The Whanganui DHB's officer in charge of the vaccination programme, Louise Allsop, said the organisation was aware it had not been able to have a clinic in Mangaweka yet.
"However, they can rest assured that they are very much in our sights," she said,
She said there were 34 people in Mangaweka yet to have a vaccination or make a booking for one.
"We will be having a mobile clinic in Mangaweka and we will advise of the date and location shortly."
Mangaweka's Yellow Church Gallery owner Richard Aslett said he only had to drive to Taihape for his shot.
"When I first tried to get my vaccination, I tried to book in Taihape, but they were just doing them on a Thursday at the time.
"But Taihape then started putting them on Saturday as well, so I jumped in and got an appointment then."
The biggest concern was people in the town who didn't have the ability to access Taihape, Aslett said.
"I think it would be good if we could get a pop-up clinic - I'm fortunate that I have a vehicle, but some people here don't. I think a lot of people who've already had one dose here would get their second at a pop-up one too."
"Being on State Highway 1, Covid is always at the back of your mind. There is some concern there."
Friday 1 October
• Inspire Gym carpark, Wilson St 11am-2pm (pop-up clinic + sausage sizzle)
• Te Rito, Victoria Ave
• Living Waters Medical, Castlecliff
• Central City Pharmacy
Saturday 2 October
• Whanganui Farmers Market, Taupo Quay
• Drive-through: Tupoho School, Cross St, Castlecliff, 10am–2pm
• Pop-up clinic: Fordell Community Hall 10am-noon
• Pop-up clinic: Mangamahu Community Hall 1.30-3.30pm
• Te Rito, Victoria Ave
• Aramoho Health Centre