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Ed Sheeran

South Auckland health chief praises Maori workforce

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Counties Manukau chief executive Margie Apa says the large Māori and Pacific health workforce in the region has helped its Covid-19 response.

There are calls around the country for government to train the workforce of Māori providers to ensure the vaccine roll out is effective, particularly in remote communities.

Ms Apa says the value of having a Māori and Pacific workforce was on display this week as providers quickly set up testing centres to respond to a community outbreak in Papatoetoe.

"When people turn up they are seeing their own taking the swabs. It's so important for our community. It means our community feels comfortable about coming back because they see their own people at the front line, so a big shout out to our provider network," she says.

The Papatoetoe cluster grew by one to seven today.

The new case is a household contact of one of the previous cases.

The person tested negative on Monday but remained in self-isolation.

Meanwhile, the first shots of the Pfizer vaccine were administered today to the vaccinators who will tomorrow start immunising staff in border-facing positions and managed isolation facilities.

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