Whānau attending our mobile vaccination event in Murupara had a nice surprise this week, as Prime Minsiter Jacinda Ardern stopped in to say hello.
The Prime Minister paid witness to Te Puna Ora o Mataatua’s most recent Murupara Community Drive Thru Vaccination, which was jointly hosted by Te Puna Ora o Mataatua, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa and Te Ika Whenua Hauora.
More than 120 whānau received their COVID-19 vaccinations at the drive thru vaccination site, based in the Pine Drive carpark at the back of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa’s offices.
The visit began with a small mihi whakatau, where the Prime Minister acknowledged the important role hauora Māori providers, together with iwi and whānau, have to play, in encouraging more Māori to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.
She acknowledged and praised the collaboration between the three organisations as a prime example of this in action – with Te Puna Ora o Mataatua providing the clinical service of vaccinations and other wrap around supports, on the day, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa and Te Ika Whenua Hauora managing bookings and encouraging local whānau to attend.
The whakatau was followed by a tour of the rūnanga building, before the Prime Minister toured the mobile vaccination site too, with Te Puna Ora o Mataatua staff including Deputy Chief Executive Shelley Cunningham, Chief Operations Officer Lee Colquhoun and Practice and Mobile Manager Kahlise Hata.
The Prime Minister first paid homage to vaccination staff working at the event, one of whom included Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Registered Nurse Puaawai Te Pou, who spoke about the various mobile vaccination events Te Puna Ora o Mataatua has successfully hosted since launching the service in August.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern then got stuck in as an honorary member of the team – helping to triage those waiting in line.
She greeted patients waiting in line, praising each for attending and for the important role they were playing in protecting whānau.
After greeting various whānau, the Prime Minister, together with East Coast MP Kiri Allan and Labour List MP Tamati Coffey, then rolled her sleeves up to help Integration Kaiārahi Co-ordinator Shannyn Taft and Contracts Manager Arapeta Taitoko, with cooking a sausage sizzle for whānau waiting in the observation area.
Whānau Ora Specialist Amiria Karekare and Counselling Team Lead Hiria Allison then gifted the Prime Minister with a small koha, including Te Puna Ora o Mataatua merchandise and a copy of our most recent MMR survey report.
The visit was greatly appreciated by all Te Puna Ora o Mataatua staff who are all immensely grateful to have shared our mahi with the Prime Minister and the Labour East Coast and Waiariki teams.
Thanks to Te Rūnanga O Ngāti Manawa and Te Ika Whenua Hauora Inc Soc. for helping us facilitate this important service for our whānau and for the role you are playing in encouraging more whānau to receive their COVID-19 Vaccinations.