16 November 2021

Ōtautahi Pasifika community rolling up their sleeves


15 November 2021

For immediate release

Ōtautahi Pasifika community rolling up their sleeves

The latest data from the Ministry of Health shows only 211 more members of Canterbury’s Pasifika population need to get vaccinated to reach the 90% vaccination target. 

Tangata Atumotu Trust general manager Carmen Collie says there has been a massive community effort to get the local Pasifika community vaccinated. 

“It’s been an incredible response. Pasifika health and social service providers have worked hand in hand with our community leaders to get the message out that vaccination is our best defence against COVID,” says Collie.

“The data shows our approach is working. We know our community, we know the places we need to be, and we’re a trusted voice.”

Collie says misinformation and fear continue to be some of the biggest issues facing her team.

 “While we can’t stop people going down social media rabbit holes, we can encourage them to discuss any vaccine questions they have with people they trust. Our team of nurses and navigators have conversations every week with those who are hesitant, and while some people require more time, most really appreciate the opportunity to talk and be reassured,” says Carmen.

Tangata Atumotu is at the Māui Clinic at The Hub Hornby every day and have been reaching the community with their mobile clinic in the ‘Vaccination Vaka’. The Vaka has visited many locations around Ōtautahi, including primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions, churches and communities at Rowley and Aranui. 

“As well as having a team on the ground, we’ve used illustrations and quotes from Pasifika leaders and youth to get the message out. We’ve advertised on social media and put posters and billboards up around town.”

University of Canterbury student, Selwyn Gamble is one of Tangata Atumotu’s Youth COVID Champions featured on posters and billboards. Selwyn wants the community to be informed and feel comfortable to make the decision to get vaccinated.

“Trusting in our health system and getting the vaccine is important for protecting ourselves and our loved ones,” he says.

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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