22 Sep 2021

'Shot Cuz' vaccination bus joins drive to stamp out Covid-19

10:36 am on 22 September 2021

There were smiles all round in Manurewa this week as a new addition to the vaccination program was unveiled - a mobile vaccination bus cheerfully named Shot Cuz.

Shot Cuzz Covid-19 mobile vaccination bus.

The Shot Cuz Covid-19 mobile vaccination bus. Photo: RNZ / Te Aorewa Rolleston

The Shot Cuz bus - aimed at driving up Māori vaccination rates in Tāmaki Makaurau - pulled up to the Clendon Pak n' Save in South Auckland.

The prime minster said by this week 80 percent of Auckland's population would have had their first dose.

It was hoped the bus would help assist those numbers.

Manurewa Marae chief executive Takutai Kemp said the community had been asking for the buses it was hoped they would assist with improve accessibility for vaccinations.

"This means the world to us out here in our community, because this is what our community asked for, they've been asking for vaccinations to be brought to the community," Kemp said.

"We've finally done it, it's all about increasing vaccinations and access for our community."

Takutai Kemp

Takutai Kemp. Photo: RNZ / Te Aorewa Rolleston

It was all systems go as kaiawhina set up chairs, marquees and even a bonus coffee cart nearby when the bus set up at the Pak n' Save, all features dedicated to making those arriving feel welcome and supported.

Manurewa locals Matiu and Hunter were both waiting patiently for their first vaccines.

Matiu said deciding to get vaccinated was an easy choice and with the mobile bus so conveniently close to home, he was one of the first in line.

"We're here representing Mā Te Huruhuru charitable trust and we're here to get our vaccinations," he said.

"It's very convenient because it's close to home so we're only just done the road from this place."

Although Hunter was slightly anxious, her worries were put to rest when she arrived to the Clendon Park carpark site.

She encouraged any whānau who may have reservations to go to the Shot Cuz Bus and receive their vaccine there.

"I think it's amazing what they're doing, it's a big help for whānau," she said.

"I encourage anybody out there who is sitting on the fence to come in and do it asap."

Manurewa Marae kaumātua Rangi Maclean helped bless the bus and said it was good to see the community come together for the vaccination kaupapa.

They were optimistic they had found a strategy that would encourage more Māori and Pasifika whānau to get vaccinated, he said.

"For me it's good to get out of the home and be back in the community doing what we're doing.

"All of us, the Rātana Church, the Ringatū Church and Paimārere, we all reiterated the fact that this is a time to celebrate the community coming together."

Both Matiu and Hunter said it was important that whānau help protect one another by getting vaccinated.

"Get vaccinated whānau, it's worth it, stop the spread," Matiu said.

"Whānau think about our babies, our kids and especially our kaumātua and kuia, please if you can, come down and get it done," Hunter said.

The Shot Cuz mobile vaccination bus is open daily from 9am to 4pm for walk in vaccinations.

The bus will be parked at the Clendon Park carpark until the end of tomorrow before moving to South Mall on Weymouth Rd during Thursday and Friday.

The bus will then be at Manurewa Countdown for the weekend.