Many organisations in Opotiki have been doing an incredible job as part of the national vaccination rollout and now health providers, Opotiki District Council, Whakatohea and several other key agencies are coming together to boost the profile around vaccinations and the benefits for the Opotiki community.

One of the local champions helping to coordinate this joined-up approach is Arihia Tuoro.

Arihia said that with the Delta variant of covid moving through the country, it was vital that the community understood the importance of the vaccinations and the protection they provide. And that the community moved faster on the vaccination drive, given the growing urgency.

“There are quite a few organisations in Opotiki doing so much good here to both increase our vaccination rates and also to ensure we are prepared and resilient when covid does get here. 

“We just wanted to come together as a community-wide support group to get behind to provide that extra boost and support in any way to paddle this waka faster.

“Providing more options and opportunities for whanau to receive information from a trusted source whenever they wanted to talk about it or ask question, whether you are hapu or breastfeeding, or whether you have an underlying condition that you are concerned about and want to talk to someone.

“And we wanted to make it fun! So we have planned some real Opotiki-style events and we have more waiting in the wings – music, street parties, ice cream, anything that really brings the conversation out into the community so we can talk about it and answer questions, especially if you have been sitting on the fence or have some outstanding concerns,” Ms Tuoro said.

Coming up soon on Wednesday 17 November, there is an event at Opotiki College for students and their families. There will be all sorts of fun activities, a sausage sizzle, free ice creams, kids activities, music and displays. There will also be information about vaccinations and people to talk to.

There is also a block party on Ford Street the next day with more great prizes, BBQ and teams available to talk and vaccinate for anyone who would like it at the mobile clinic.