September 13, 2021
Urupā warning jab for Waititi
The Māori Party is stepping up its encouragement for Māori to get vaccinated.
Co-leader Rawiri Waititi says a general sense of mistrust by Māori in government systems is creating resistance to public health messages on the Covid-19 pandemic.
He says Māori want to hear from Māori – so the party will use its platforms to amplify experts like Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā, the Māori pandemic response group.
His own decision to be vaccinated was influenced by what he sees going home to Te Whānau a Apanui in the eastern Bay of Plenty.
“I drive past it every day – there are cemeteries with mass tombs. There were actually cemeteries here in Te Whānau a Apanui dedicated only to children who died of influenza, and we have waiata and mōteatea over 100 years old that talk about pandemics of the past. That’s how I protect my whakapapa, to ensure I am here for my babies,” he says.
Mr Waititi says the Pfizer vaccine hasn’t turned him into a microchipped zombie, and he knows it is making his body giving his immune system a memory so he is much less likely to get Covid and an even lower chance of dying if he gets it.