Vaccination rates of Niueans in New Zealand improving but still quite low especially for young people.
New Zealand High Commissioner Her Excellency Helen Tunnah says that about 40 per cent of Niueans in New Zealand have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 70 percent have taken their first dose. The concern though is for the young people with only 25 per cent of them have had two doses of the vaccine. Ms Tunnah was speaking at the Avatele Show day on Saturday
According to the New Zealand 2018 census figures, there are 30,867 Niueans living in New Zealand, the majority or more than 70 percent live in Auckland.
High Commissioner Tunnah asked the people at the show day to encourage their families and church communities to be part of the Super Saturday vaccination rollout in New Zealand.
“Our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared next Saturday Super Saturday. She wants as many people as possible to come along to get vaccinated, either your first or your second dose, to keep not only New Zealand safe, but to keep Niue safe and to keep the rest of the Pacific safe as well” says Helen Tunnah.
Australian High Commissioner Susan Allen echoed the sentiments and the push to get as many people in New Zealand and Australia vaccinated.
“Vaccinations are necessary because of the Covid pandemic and from where I sit seeing so many people out on this lovely Saturday morning enjoying themselves with no masks and no restrictions and able to travel freely throughout their country is a great thing and Niue ought to be congratulated on it.
It’s very important from what I see that’s happening in Australia and in New Zealand, vaccination just couldn’t more important” says Ms Allen.
NZ’s High Commissioner says that Niue government and Premier Tagelagi has already made it very clear that only fully vaccinated people are allowed to come to Niue, so it is very important to encourage our Niueans families and friends in NZ to get vaccinated.
“While we’re doing incredibly well here in Niue, one of our objectives is to get all of our family and friends back here to visit. Premier has made it very clear that if you’re not vaccinated, you’ll not be able to come home and visit friends and families”.
Premier Tagelagi who was also at the Avatele show day spoke about the government’s attempts to bring our people stranded in Auckland right now. He asked that those people waiting to return home be patient as the government tries to bring them home.
Minister of Health Hon. Sauni Tongatule also asked the locals not to travel to New Zealand right now because of the difficulties of returning home.
The first flight returning residents back home will be on Monday next week with up to twenty passengers.
The final list of the passengers was approved by a special committee tasked to allocate the stranded residents to the fortnightly flights.