Māori now largest group in NZ affected by Delta outbreak

Source: 1News

Māori are now the largest group of people affected by Covid in the latest outbreak, with community leaders growing increasingly fearful for what's to come.

Over 3000 infections have come from the current outbreak, which began in August.

Māori now account for more than 1300 of those, 35 per cent of the total. Pasifika cases are now behind that at 21 per cent.

Many Māori health experts have been calling for the Government to prioritise Māori vaccinations for months.

Dr Matire Harwood, a local GP in Papakura, was one of those sounding the alarm.

“We called for prioritising Māori to get the vaccine months and months ago, it’s disappointing it didn't happen and we're still on the back foot trying to catch up,” she told 1 News.

Māori have also had the highest number of cases for each of the last 32 days.

There is a fear that if the current trend continues, Māori could make up more than half of cases by Christmas.

Reseacher Dr Rawiri Taonui says the projection looking forward is “very grim” if those case numbers were to continue at the same rate.

“I think history will look back at the vaccination rollout, the decreasing age bands, as being a really big mistake and I think history will also judge the Auckland move down to Level 3 as premature and one of the worst health decisions in recent history with massive ramifications for Māori.”