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Arena Williams MP Vaccinated At Manurewa Marae As A Carer For Kaumātua

MP for Manurewa Arena Williams is feeling happy and relieved after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Manurewa Marae this morning with her 88 year old father, veteran broadcaster Haare Williams.

Haare and Arena hope to encourage other multi-generational South Auckland households who have kaumātua and seniors living in the home to be vaccinated now.

"Since COVID-19 came to our shores I've been worried for my father. He means the world to my kids and COVID-19 is a serious threat that could take him away from us. Today I am relieved to have had my first vaccination to help protect him and myself," said Arena Williams.

Haare was called to have his vaccination as an older person with underlying health conditions living in South Auckland. People living with and caring for older Māori and Pacific people are also encouraged to be vaccinated now. As the COVID-19 vaccine program ramps up in the second half of the year, all New Zealanders will be offered the vaccine free.

"I want to see high rates of vaccination in Manurewa so that all of our kaumātua and seniors are protected. To those who aren't getting vaccinated just yet because they don't have a border worker or an elder in their bubble, I say spend this time making sure you get the right information about the vaccine so that you can make an informed decision, and I encourage you to get vaccinated when it's time," said Arena Williams.

Manurewa Marae is administering the vaccine, staffed by Māori nurses and Māori Wardens.

"Matua Rangi McLean welcomed us with a whakatau and said in his mihi that the health of our people is paramount. As Chair of the Manurewa Marae he is showing leadership in bringing the vaccine to Māori in a place we feel welcome, and he is opening the way with karakia and manaakitanga," said Williams.

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