For Niue by Niue is exactly the motivation behind two Niue vaccination drive-through events that occurred on the 23-25 September and again on the 29-30 October 2021 in Mangere, South Auckland.
Supported by health provider The Fono, the project manager for both events was our very own Innovations Lead Amio Matenga Ikihele, who is also registered nurse and authorised vaccinator. Our Research Assistant Dantzel Tiakia also worked alongside our vaccination nurses at both events.
Under the leadership of Associate Professor Collin Tukuitonga, Mali Erick, and the #VaccinateNiue working group, both events saw Niue health professionals, ministers, teachers, and volunteers unite and encourage their Niue community to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.
“It’s the first time a health event of this scale had been arranged for our Niue community which is a huge achievement for us. We have a lot of Niue doctors, nurses, and skilled professionals who have contributed to the success of this event” says Amio.
Niue is the fourth largest Pacific community, with a total of 30,867 Niue people living in New Zealand. The majority are based in Auckland (2018 Census).
“We were able to vaccinate just under 1,000 people at our first event, and 685 people at our second vaccination event which was in collaboration with our Cook Island community. This is a huge response from our Niue and Pacific communities” says Amio.
“Everyone who came through were welcomed by Niue staff from start to finish. When people were asked what encouraged them to get vaccinated at the event, many mentioned their aunty, cousin or sister was a nurse or working in traffic control so wanted to come through…and also because it was a Niue vaccination event.”
Moana Research sponsored spot prizes at both events, in particular cars that were dressed up like a ‘Takai’ – a New Year tradition in Niue island.
“We can’t go to Niue so our Niue Ki Mua Collective (made up of Niue young people who lead our communications campaign) thought it would be a great idea to bring a bit of Niue to our vaccination event. We had so many cars that came decorated so wanted to thank everyone who put in the extra effort as they came to get vaccinated”.
Both Niue vaccination events received sponsorship and support from many organisations which included Moana Research, PMN Niue, Pasifika Futures, The Cause Collective, Tau Nosi Niue, Niue Ki Mua, Penina Health Trust, Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Ministry for Business, Innovation & Employment, Fonterra, Kiwi Harvest, Gilmours, T&G, Cook Island Development Agency NZ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.