9:30 a.m. – Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson said the vaccine rollout “has not been perfect,” acknowledging the large disparity between Maori and Pākehā vaccination rates.
Only 23 percent of eligible Maori are fully immunized, compared to about 37.5 percent of eligible Pākehā, according to the last digits – 41 percent of Asians and 31.7% of Pasifika are double-bitten.
Speaking to The AM Show Thursday morning, Jackson said more could have been done to encourage adoption of the vaccine among Maori, but said broader factors could also be at play.
“It has been tricky. Could we have done better? Of course, of course. And we’re working very closely with our suppliers now … We’ve learned along the way. But I think overall we have done quite well with our Maori suppliers – we have our funding for them in terms of Whānau Ora, we are working closely with them on the ground, but it has not been perfect, ”he said.
“You know there’s a lot of resentment sometimes … especially in the regions, if you go up north and talk to Hone Harawira, you’ve got anti-vaccines there. Listen, some of them hate it. “The government, whether national or Labor. You don’t sometimes compare apples to apples, you know? … it’s very difficult when some of our people have a history and generations of resentment against us.” “
Jackson said officials were in the process of finding and developing new strategies, praising the work of Minister Whānau Ora and Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare.
“We are trying to find new ways and strategies to work with our people on the ground. Our man Peeni Henare, our minister is doing very well.”
Jackson will be at Auckland Airport on Thursday alongside Mayor Phil Goff and Minister of Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health (Pacific Peoples) Aupito William Sio for the launch of the vaccination buses.
“Today we are launching three buses at the airport, our vaccination buses. I will be there… We have to go to the community.”