Taranaki's iwi want 95 per cent of the region's Māori population jabbed under their own Covid-19 vaccination plan.
The region's district health board has been criticised by Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare for lagging behind in vaccinations for Māori, along with the DHBs in Christchurch, West Coast, Rotorua, Tairāwhiti, Northland, Manawatū, and Bay of Plenty.
Henare says Taranaki DHB and hapū are now working together, but iwi and Māori health providers remain unconvinced and are drawing up their own plan through Te Aranga, the Covid response arm of the eight Taranaki iwi.
The chair of Te Kotahitanga o Te Ātiawa, Liana Poutu, said the region's iwi chairs met last week to consider the first draft of the plan and were now refining it.
"Our objective is 95 per cent vaccination for our people, even though the country is 90 per cent. We want to try and push te iwi Māori to get higher than that.
"It is a big task of course but we're committed to trying to get to that level of vaccinations for our people."
Just 62 per cent of eligible Māori in Taranaki have had a first dose and only 38 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Eighty per cent of Taranaki's overall eligible population have had a first dose with 57 per cent double-jabbed.
Poutu said Te Aranga was co-ordinating a week-by-week vaccination effort across the region, including help from the DHB.
"It's no secret had that we've had frustration with the DHB."
An overarching plan was also being drawn up to focus longer-term on things like second doses.
Poutu said iwi and Māori health providers were seeking funding that matched the reality of their work.
"Sometimes it takes five or six engagements with a whānau before they'll access the vaccination, but our providers are only funded for the vaccination, they're not funded for those engagements it takes to get them to the vaccination point."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Henare have said the Government will announce more funding for the Māori vaccination drive this Friday.
Also on Friday, the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency in Auckland will be in court trying to gain access to street-by-street data from the Ministry of Health.
For now, Māori providers have access to government data only at a suburb-by-suburb level.
The chief executive of health provider Tui Ora, Hayden Wano, has said that street-by-street data will be essential as the search for the unvaccinated becomes increasingly localised.
"I think it's going to become almost a door to door situation, and that's when that detailed information will be really important."
Poutu said good use of health data is so vital that Te Aranga had contracted in experts to analyse the information available so far.
She said Ngāti Ruanui Healthcare and Tui Ora had between them delivered a fifth of the region's jabs on Super Saturday last weekend.
"First doses for Māori over three days have risen from 58 per cent to 62 per cent: shifting Māori four per cent in three days is pretty incredible."
Taranaki DHB's senior responsible officer for Covid, Bevan Clayton-Smith, said the DHB had an obligation to do better and that the relationship with iwi and Māori providers was improving.
"I'm happy to embrace whatever truths and honesty come our way, and we'll take that on board."
He said the DHB would be supporting Te Aranga's plan.
"We're going there to help support them and awhi them and understand where they need to be and want to go. We're sharing data platforms, there's going to be shared planning, shared logistics and shared communication."
But Ngāti Ruanui's Debbie Ngārewa-Packer, co-leader of the Māori Party, has called for Government health services to "get out of the way and let the communities… get the job done".
"There is not an iwi leader in Taranaki who will not describe the number of hours of headbanging we've done to try and dismantle some of the obstacles that the DHB has put in front of us."
As an example, she said after the nationwide Super Saturday event was announced the DHB had backed out of an agreed booking for Ngāti Ruanui Healthcare to use a new DHB campervan vaccine clinic.
"To be honest it was a real kick in the guts when we're trying to clean up their mess."
She said South Taranaki iwi would do it independently.
"What we've decided to do in Aotea is put together a vaccination team.
"We've borrowed our own campervans, we've got Dr Rawiri Jansen coming to teach a team of people how to vaccinate.
"We've just had no support from Taranaki DHB: we asked them to share our comms they didn't, we've asked for a van they couldn't give it, we've asked for a registered nurse and we're still waiting."