Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards

April 14, 2022Category:

New Zealand Community of the Year 2022

Matakaoa Community

Over the past year the Matakaoa community has come together to address the issues of Covid-19 protection, vaccination, and misinformation.

The small town, made up of a few hundred people, is determined to keep itself safe and well. The community worked together and decided collectively that it would embrace vaccination, declaring themselves an “immunity community”.

Its innovative campaign to create social unity was to work with storytellers, scientists and doctors to learn about vaccinations and make sense of the information from their own perspectives and community values.

Protecting themselves from misinformation was also a strong driver. A series of short creative videos were made to encourage Māori vaccination rates, and members of the Matakaoa community featured in the “Be a doer, karawhiua” series, profiling locals and why they chose to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. The result was a cohesive rōpū, making decisions with consensus and achieving high vaccination rates.