Kaumatua ease vaccine anxiety
Mere Karena-Komene sits on the paepae at Manurewa Marae and sees with her own eyes the anxiety of those coming to get vaccinated for Covid-19.
Mere is one of the Manurewa Marae kaumātua who has been trained about the vaccination process and provides support to visitors to the marae.
“Some of them come with a lot of anxiety, so we make sure that we manaaki them as they go through,” Mere says.
“I had my 96-year-old uncle come in last week, and his anxiety was that he was on all these blood thinners, so I just had to awhi him at let him know that they we have got registered nurses here.”
The kaumātua sing waiata in the marae and provide karakia for those who request a prayer before being vaccinated.
However, Mere is concerned that the Māori population has been slow in registering for vaccinations.
“A lot of our people are waiting. My message is nau mai, haere mai.”