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Source: Auckland Council

The Super Saturday COVID-19 vaccination drive sent a message of collective commitment to individual and public health, Manurewa-Papakura Auckland Councillor Daniel Newman says.

“It was extraordinary, but Super Saturday hasn’t been and won’t be the only day in this fight.

“The campaign to protect my constituents, some of whom have suffered the pandemic’s appalling effects, has been waged for months,” he says.

“Stand-up vaccination events coupled with incentives have helped get thousands of people over the line and in doing so the hesitancy and downright mistrust, coupled with a tidal wave of social media misinformation, has been confronted head on.

“That has to continue day after day after a gruelling day, and I intend to continue that effort because I cannot bare the proposition of vulnerable people missing out as case numbers inevitably rise.”

Among those at Super Saturday’s Manurewa Netball Centre event were Tuala Tagaloa Tusani, who is fronting media to talk about his experiences after COVID-19 nearly killed him.

“Despite suffering from lingering fatigue, he still turned out, and we are the better for it,” Newman says.

Working in partnership Manurewa Netball’s Italia Tipelu, Deacon Sanele, Pastor Lui and the ASA Foundation’s Teleiai Edwin Puni, more than 1000 people were vaccinated at that site.

“Takutai Moana Tarsh Kemp and her Manurewa Marae team were also tireless. The early start quickly heating up as people turned up to vaccinate for themselves and their children, and on top of that Tony Kake’s team at Papakura Marae faced massive crowds, working on and on to ensure everyone got vaccinated.”

Newman says the Auckland Council has been part of the energy and dynamism around vaccination events.

“That’s a great credit to Mayor Phil Goff, the senior leadership teams, and all those working flat-stick to make it work. We owe a debt to these ordinary people doing extraordinary things for south Auckland families.”

But he says there’s more to be done.

“There are thousands who need to be fully vaccinated. Alongside our community-based vaccination teams, I’ll happily ask for the continued support and sponsorship needed because we still have big sites to hit and tough conversations to have.”