Auckland's eligible Pacific population has successfully hit 90 percent first dose vaccinations across all three of the city's DHBs.
Counties Manukau DHB, with the largest Pacific population (more than 116,000) in New Zealand, has joined Auckland and Waitematā DHBs in reaching the first-dose milestone. Comparatively, Auckland DHB has close to 47,000 Pacific people and Waitematā has over 37,000.
Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Pacific lead Meg Poutasi said it was a significant achievement "and a testament to highly responsive community mobilisation, Pacific provider expertise in outreach, and the result of many months of hard work and long hours".
"It's been wonderful to see our multiple Pacific communities mobilise across the board. Our vaccination events have in fact been celebrations of all sizes, with buses, campervans and neighbourhood outreach meeting communities where they are."
She praised young people for their part in the rollout, saying they had activated their networks and friends to protect themselves and their aiga.
"Our Pacific health provider partners, church leaders and community organisers have been instrumental week in and week out, in bringing the vaccine to our people. Without their efforts, we would not have reached this milestone at this speed and prior to Christmas."
Poutasi also singled out the Pacific Collective, who responded to the initial outbreak in March 2021 and had continued to support families ever since.
She thanked The Fono, Southseas Healthcare, Bader Drive Doctors, the Tongan Health Society (Langimalie), Southpoint Doctors, Pasefika Family Health Group and Integrated Mt Wellington.
Counties Manukau DHB chief executive Margie Apa said Pacific communities should be proud of reaching the milestone.
"Over 180,000 Pacific people in metro Auckland have now had their first dose. This puts our Pacific families in a positive position ahead of the border opening next week and the Christmas holidays.
"We're now turning our attention to encouraging those who have had their first dose three weeks ago, to get their second dose as soon as possible," Apa said.