A massive ‘shout-out’ to everyone who rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated on Super Saturday which smashed vaccination records!

Aotearoa set a new record for daily Covid-19 vaccinations, with 130,002 doses administered. Auckland had its biggest ever vaccination day, and it was also the biggest day so far for Māori vaccinations. The Pasifika community also turned out in great numbers. 

“Super Saturday has been a shot in the arm for the final stage of our Covid-19 vaccination programme and we now need to finish the job to protect all New Zealanders from the virus,” said Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. “I want to give a huge thanks to every eligible New Zealander who stepped up … as well as to the hundreds of health providers, businesses, workplaces and community organisations who’ve pulled out all the stops as part of the nationwide push for vaccination.” 

Auckland now has 89% of its eligible people vaccinated with at least 1 dose. For more info and stats click HERE.

Building on the massive success of Super Saturday the Tongan community is delighted to announce that a repeat of the successful Malu’i Ma’a Tonga – Get Protected for Tonga mass vaccination drive-thru will be held from Oct 21-23. (See poster)

Once again, this special pop-up is a collaborative effort involving Pacific health providers – The Fono and Tonga Health Society, the Tongan Inter-Faith Network of Aotearoa, community leaders, and NHRCC.

Nearly 4000 jabs were delivered at the September drive-thru, and more than 90% were first doses. With young people most affected in the current Delta outbreak, it was fantastic to see 59% of jabs go to under 35s. Participants in September’s event are now due their second doses. And that’s a key focus of this week’s pop-up. However, anyone who hasn’t had the time or opportunity to get their first jab is also encouraged to come along.

‘You can expect a Tongan village-style atmosphere,’ says Sione Tuitahi from the Tongan Inter-Faith Network and Executive Director of HPF. ‘So, come home, celebrate our Tongan culture, and keep everyone safe by getting vaccinated.’

According to Dr Glenn Doherty, CEO of the Tongan Health Society, Pacific vaccination rates have improved across the country and within specific communities.

Super Saturday was a vital shot in the arm for the Pacific Island vaccination drive. But there’s still plenty of work to be done, he says.

The Tongan community is currently lagging behind other Pacific Island groups in vaccine uptake.

Tevita Funaki, CEO of The Fono, agrees that sustained effort is needed.

‘The Tonganpeople-for-Tongan-people approach is a proven model for reaching our communities,’ says Mr Funaki. ‘We hope this repeat pop-up will be just as successful with even more jabs administered. We have to keep the momentum going.

Mr Funaki says the community partnership model behind the drive-thru is a great way to reach young Tongans who, for a variety of complex reasons, haven’t yet had their first dose.

He has a simple message for South Auckland’s Tongan and Pacific communities: ‘Get protected. Do it for you, your whānau and the wider community.’



This week we’re celebrating Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niue / Niue Language Week.

This year’s theme, Kia tupuolaola e moui he Tagata Niue, reminds us of the importance of our Pacific languages and cultures and how they contribute to spiritual, emotional, physical and social wellness for prosperity and wealth in the home, community and nation.

“When we look at the challenges our people have faced due to the impact of the global pandemic it can be completely overwhelming,” said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio while launching the week.”

“However, if we turn to what’s constant in our lives which for Pacific peoples is our spirituality and faith, our extended families and collective values, our language and culture the unknown doesn’t seem so daunting after all.”

Mr Sio said it was vital that families continue to develop and grow and embrace opportunities and set goals so they may move forward, despite the challenges and distractions of life.

He said this was made possible by using a cultural lens and holistic approach and solving complex challenges, and by seeking the wisdom and experiences captured in stories of proud and brave people with strong physical, emotional and physical and social connectiveness to their ancestors our families.

Niue Language Week is the second to last of the 2021 Pacific Language Weeks series and activities and events will be delivered online due to recent Covid-19 restrictions.

The number of people in New Zealand, who identify as Niuean is 30,867, according to the 2018 Census, with the population increasing steadily over the past two decades.

“We are inspired by Niue achieving 97% vaccination of its eligible population. Following the leadership of our families and friends in Niue, I encourage the Niueans of Aotearoa to take up your Covid-19 vaccination. Do it to keep yourselves, your families and communities safe,” added Mr Sio.