Covid-19 and Vaccine Information

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Adapting to life with Covid-19

Learning to live with Covid-19 has been a disruptive and challenging experience for many of our whānau, hapū and Iwi.

From daily restrictions to lockdowns, we have all had to find new ways to adapt to life with the pandemic.

The threat of Covid-19 has sadly meant that we have not been able to be together to mark a number of significant occasions as an Iwi, including tangihanga, Pākaitore celebrations, Tira Hoe Waka or the induction ceremony for the new Te Pou Tupua.

We know that these are stressful times for everyone. If you have concerns and need support, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help you. 

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki is part of the Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective that has mobilised to support whānau through the pandemic. Check out their Facebook or website for helpful information and updates.

To prepare for the future, look to the teaching of our ancestors. Our ancestors survived adversity because they were prepared. Talk about your plan to care and protect your whānau today so we can get through this. He manawa nui ki te ao - koia!

Sheena Maru, Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Chairperson

The new traffic light system

In 2021, Aotearoa shifted to a new Covid-19 Protection Framework known as the traffic light system. All of Aotearoa is at Orange.

The traffic light system will mean different cities across the motu will have a different coloured traffic light in place, either red, orange or green. 

At Red, action is needed to protect at-risk people and protect our health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations.

At Orange, there will be community transmission, with pressure on our health system. The whole of health system is focusing its resources, but can manage primary care, public health, and hospitals. There may also be an increasing risk for at-risk people.

Green is when COVID-19 is across New Zealand, including sporadic imported cases. Community transmission is limited and COVID-19 hospitalisations will be at a manageable level. The health system will be ready to respond, including primary care, public health, and hospitals.

Each light comes with varying safety measures including limits on gatherings. For more, click here.

Get your vaccine today

The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is currently underway in Aotearoa. Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective is encouraging uri of Whanganui Iwi to be vaccinated as an important step to keep our whānau protected from Covid-19.

The vaccine is now available to everyone over the age of 5 years old - it is free and easy. 

Most clinics you can walk in to - no need to book. Otherwise you can call 0800 28 29 26 or visit the website Book My vaccine.

In Whanganui and neighbouring rohe, you can call Te Oranganui to book your vaccine on 0800 202 404.

The roll out programme in Whanganui and neighbouring rohe is a collaborative effort by Māori health leaders, Te Oranganui Trust, Whanganui District Health Board, Whanganui Regional Health Service, Hauora-ā-Iwi, National Hauora Coalition.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the vaccine. It is our individual responsibility as whānau, hapū and iwi to make sure we are accessing reliable information from trusted sources.

We have created this page to provide you and your whānau with reliable information to make informed decisions about the vaccine.

As Te Ranga Tupua, the iwi collective, we're definitely encouraging our people to take their whānau in to get the immunisation. I think our people are starting to realise this is serious and we need to be immunising our whānau. I do encourage our whānau to get out there, take the lead, and lead by example.

Te Ranga Tupua spokesman Pahia Turia, chair of Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa.

  • How does the vaccine work? Shape Created with Sketch.

    The vaccine that we have secured in Aotearoa is called Pfizer. There is enough of it in the country for all adults to be immunised. We will need two doses of the vaccine, six-weeks apart, for it to work properly.

    The vaccine works by teaching the body’s immune system to recognise pathogens (disease-causing organisms) without causing illness to the body’s immune system. It then remembers this pathogen and when/if the infection occurs at a later date, the body will fight the infection faster.

    The Pfizer vaccine does not contain the live virus, so it cannot give you COVID-19.

  • How was the vaccine created so quickly? Shape Created with Sketch.

    Creating the COVID-19 vaccines took a global effort. When the virus kicked off early last year, experts from around the world united to take on the challenge of creating a vaccine.

    But researchers did not start from scratch. Similar research was already well underway for similar diseases.

    As a result, the vaccines could be made faster, whilst still ensuring they went through all the safety checks.

    Before being used in Aotearoa, the vaccine was also approved by Medsafe, who are responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in Aotearoa.

    Medsafe will only approve a vaccine for use in Aotearoa once they are confident it complies with international standards and local requirements for quality, safety, and effectiveness.

  • How effective is the vaccine? Shape Created with Sketch.

    The Pfizer vaccine is proven to be up to 95% effective after two doses.

    That means that out of one hundred people, as many as 95 will be fully protected against the virus.

    In rare cases, people may be able to catch the disease after getting the vaccine, as it can take a few weeks for your body’s immune system to build up its defenses.

    People who are vaccinated are far less likely to fall seriously ill if they catch COVID-19.

  • What happens when you get the vaccine? Shape Created with Sketch.

    You will be asked to provide your details, and give consent.

    A fully-trained vaccinator will give you the vaccine in your upper arm. It is quick and easy.

    You will need to stay for 20 minutes so that the health professionals can keep an eye on you. Some mild side-effects are common, and are a sign your body’s learning to fight the virus.

    You should receive a pamphlet outlining possible side effects and what to expect.

    Your health provider will also book you in for your second appointment.

    There may be extra precautions and rules during a Covid-19 Alert level.

  • Is it safe when hapū or breastfeeding? Shape Created with Sketch.

    Experts believe it is as safe for pregnant people as everyone else.

    It is safe to breastfeed after you have been vaccinated.

    The Pfizer vaccine doesn’t contain the live virus, so can't give you or your baby COVID-19.

    Talk to your Lead Maternity Carer before you have the vaccine to get the right information for you and your baby.

  • Where can I get the vaccine in Whanganui? Shape Created with Sketch.

    For more information regarding walk in clinics and vaccine centers in the Whanganui rohe, click here.

Advice for whānau Māori

The following resources provide advice for marae operating under the new traffic light system, advice for whānau who need to self isolate at home with Covid-19 and more. 

Traffic lights and Marae

What the traffic light system means on marae

CPF MaraeBooklet v1.1
Home quarantine advice for whānau

What you need to know if one of your whānau at home gets Covid-19 and has to isolate at home.

Information Booklet
Home quarantine advice for patients

Everything you need to know if you get Covid-19 and have to isolate at home.

Information Booklet

Do you whakapapa to the Whanganui River? Would you and your whānau like to be registered on the Whanganui Iwi Database? What does that mean?

It means that you get sent pānui and updates on kaupapa related to the Whanganui River and Te Awa Tupua, the people and the river from the Mountains to the Sea. You can also apply for the different grants that are advertised on our website and facebook page.

If you are already on the database and need to up date your details please head to the database or send us an email at