21 December 2021

Canterbury Pacific community stepping up and getting vaccinated

Media release for immediate use 20 December 2021

Canterbury has become the first major metropolitan area to double vaccinate 90% of its Pasifika population.

Ministry of Health figures show that close to a month after hitting the first dose 90% target, 90% of Canterbury's Pasifika population is now double-vaccinated. 

Tangata Atumotu Trust has been helping lead vaccination efforts in Canterbury with mobile clinics and vaccination centres.

Tangata Atumotu Trust general manager Carmen Collie says it’s been an outstanding response from the Ōtautahi Pacific community. 

“Our Canterbury Pasifika community is in a strong position to fight the virus with 96% of  Pasifika in Ōtautahi having had their first dose – that is a figure even the most optimistic amongst us didn’t think we’d hit.”

Carmen says getting to 90% double vaxxed before Christmas also represents an incredible achievement not only from the community – but all those involved in vaccination efforts.  

“I am extremely proud of the hard work our staff and other Pasifika and mainstream organisations have put in. All our team have gone over and above, putting in super long days over the last few months to get our community vaccinated.”

“Many thanks to our COVID champions and community leaders for helping to spread the message and lift vaccination rates”. 

Tangata Atumotu is at the Māui Clinic at The Hub Hornby every day and has been reaching the community with their ‘Vaccination Vaka' mobile clinic. 

The ‘Vaka' has been present in the community, visiting primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions, churches and communities at Rowley, Papanui, Woolston and Aranui.

Tangata Atumotu Team Lead and Registered Nurse Suli Tuitaupe is among those working on the frontline at the clinics. 

“This has been a phenomenal collaborative effort thus far in getting to this point. It makes me proud knowing our work continues to protect our communities,” says Suli.

Suli says it has been a pleasure meeting all those who have come through the clinic doors.

“We have met so many amazing members of our community through this vaccination programme and the common thread among each and every person is the fact they want to protect their aiga and their loved ones for the future.”

Tangata Atumotu is also focusing on booster shots and is working through the logistics of vaccinating under 12 year olds. 

“Having received approval to vaccinate five to 11 year-olds, we hope to start vaccinating the cohort in the New Year,” says Carmen. 

For more information on COVID-19, the vaccine, or upcoming clinics, please visit www.tat.org.nz or phone 0800 PASIFIKA (800 727 434)

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