Whitiki Ngati Porou! – a call to arms.
Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and Ngati Porou Hauora are calling on iwi members to protect their whanau and community in new targeted COVID-19 vaccine promotions.
“Whitiki” - is the call to get ready - to be alert.
“It is the call to action that rallies the troops, and that’s what we are doing,” says Selwyn Parata, Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Chair.
“We can answer this call by baring arms- literally- by rolling up our sleeves and lining up to have our free COVID-19 shots.” says Mr Parata.
Hapu and community leads within the Ngati Porou rohe have been reaching out to their networks and directly engaging with whanau living both at home and away.
Next week Ngati Porou Hauora are setting up a vaccination centre at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae, from Monday to Thursday, 9am – 6:30pm. Everyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated are encouraged to head along.
“Don’t be shy, peka mai ki to tatou Marae!” says Charlotte Gibson, Te Poho o Rawiri Marae spokesperson.
Ngati Porou rangatahi, Ishtar Mackey-Huriwai, on the right (Te Whanau a Hinetapora) and Reremoana Papuni-Hohepa, left (Te Whanau a Hinepare) whole heartedly support the vaccination korero. Both find the changing alert levels disruptive and do not want to imagine the rest of their lives living in continuous lockdown.
“I’m sick of lockdowns,” says Ishtar, a Year 11 Manukura student. “I want to be able to carry on playing weekend sports, travel and hang with my friends – that’s why I choose to get vaccinated.”
Reremoana, a Year 10 Uawa student shares the same whakaaro, and is also one of the rangatahi featured in the Whitiki campaign. She encourages other young Ngati Porou to help spread the vaccination message among their networks.
“Tell your mum, your dad, your nanny and papa, uncles and aunties, brothers, sisters, cousins. Tell the whole whanau. The message is simple – get vaccinated now. This is our call to arms – Whitiki Ngati Porou!”