Ka kite Covid! Ngā Purapura Doors Open to Vaccination Roll Outs

May 20, 2021

The karakia began just after 9.30am, Thursday 20 May as the Covid-19 vaccination team led by Bonnie Matehaere, of Ngāti Kapu prepared for the first roll out of vaccinations in Ōtaki.

Ngā Purapura was purpose built as a whare oranga designed to empower people to fulfil their own goals and aspirations in relation to physical, intellectual, spiritual and social wellbeing.  Making it the perfect location to get vaccinated.

“I love it because we are doing it at the Wānanga and that’s where we feel comfortable,” say’s nationally renowned writer Kuini Rikihana. “It’s much better than going to a clinic.”

Manu Carkeek, of Maiōtaki, was the first to be vaccinated on the day additionally leading the way for his whānau in the fight against covid-19.  Upon receiving the injection, all he had to say was “I didn’t feel a thing.”   For Manu and many others, the safety of those most vulnerable as well as themselves were the priority in getting vaccinated.

Our people have survived a multitude of infectious diseases, but it has come at a price, many of the kaumātua today recalling friends being affected by polio, measles and diphtheria and seeing vaccinations as the key to preventing unnecessary loss of whānau and friends.  It is about our responsibility to whakapapa and ensuring that we and those who come after us are free from the restrictions and harm that this virus has caused worldwide.

Many today were taking responsibility for their health so their whānau wouldn’t have to if they contracted the virus; as well as being safe from passing anything on to those who are already vulnerable within the community, and overseas.

“It is irresponsible to travel to other countries and potentially put them at risk,” say’s Rachel Selby of Ngāti Raukawa. 

“There is still potential for a large outbreak in New Zealand.  I am doing this for my whānau, it would be my whānau who would have to look after me and now they won’t have to.

There are already vulnerable and sick people in our small community, if I’m vaccinated, I’m not a risk to the people in our family, community or region.”

All 120 vaccinations were given throughout the day, with the second rollout in another three weeks.

We should be inspired by the wisdom shared by our kaumātua and their unwavering responsibility to preserve our whakapapa.  On 10 June 2021, Ngā Purapura will again open its doors to the second wave of vaccines and for anyone who is yet to be vaccinated, nau mai, come along so we can all finally say ‘ka kite’ to the vaccine that stopped our nation.

Kuini Rikihana.JPG FIrst vaccine at NP.JPG Oriwia.JPG Mereana registering.JPG Rachel Selby.JPG

Be informed!  For more information about the covid-19 vaccination program and roll out visit:




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