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Omicron is knocking at the door of our whare: Maori leader urges whanau to prepare

“Just as with Delta the new variant, Omicron, as the gate of our house. Its walking up the path and now knocking at the door of our whare. Time is not in our favour although unlike other countries around the world we have a better head start – and while some politicians might wax lyrical about the numbers of citizens returning home with Omicron, its been our border workforce that has kept it at bay. But in all reality it will enter the community and that is why we cannot blow the head start we have been given” Tukaki said

“New Zealand has done an incredible job of getting those aged 12 and over vaccinated. 95% of us have received our first dose and 92% our second dose. Nearly 600,000 booster shots have been given – and now the next move in our head start is nearly here and that is vaccinations for our Tamariki and moko. That must be our next focus and we have a small window to get the job done ahead of the school year – but more importantly before we see omicron emerge into the community” Tukaki said

“That is why I am urging our whanau right across the country to seek your medical advice now about childhood vaccinations. Speak with your local hauora, your medical professional, a trusted source of information – please do not delay.” Tukaki said

“And if there is clear evidence that this new variant is impacting children take a look at the facts and numbers of childhood infections in Australia, the UK, Europe and North America. So please whanau, get ready and lets protect our whakapapa – be informed. “ Tukaki said

“One final message I have – our health and border workforces are tired. They have stood up and fought this fight with all of us behind them – lets do that once more. And not as a team of 5 million, but as a whanau of 5 million.” Tukaki said

Childhood vaccinations are due to get underway next week.


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