Māori youth-led vax campaign aiming to get more rangatahi 'dotted'

Source: 1News

With no targeted vaccination campaign in sight for Māori youth, a group in Auckland have taken matters into their own hands with a  movement that's led by a Māori worldview.

Got Ya Dot is a vaccination campaign for rangatahi, by rangatahi. They don’t use the V word, which can be quite intimidating to some. Instead they call it getting “dotted”.

Rangatahi Māori make up more than 56 per cent of the Māori population, but only 21 per cent are fully "dotted".

This weekend, Got Ya Dot campaigners are calling rangatahi to “dotting” stations around Auckland, with spot prizes up for grabs.

Atakura, a member of the Got Ya Dot crew, says Eden Park will be their main hub for the weekend, with a number of kura supporting the kaupapa, including Westlake Boys and Hoani Waititi.

She says it’s an important kaupapa because it is “unapologetically” run by rangatahi.

“One big reason why our rangatahi aren’t dotted is because they don't see themselves being a part of a bigger kaupapa they just see themselves as a statistic, you know, they don't see how special they are in making a change for us."

Pere, another organiser, says mistrust is at the core of all of the reluctancy.

“And that is an intergenerational mistrust actually and so it is about peeling back the layers and actually finding the truth, finding what will work and what will benefit te iwi Māori.

“The Māori word for dot is actually ira, and either can mean mole, desimale mark, birthmark point and more commonly known of course, is gene,” said Pere.

“But I think the wider-known concept for ira is ira atua, ira tangata Ira whānau and how we’re connecting our dots to our history, to our culture, and actually using that to guide us through this Mahi.”