Super Saturday saw the launch of the Hutt Valley’s first mobile vaccination service, the Delta Buster.
The bus is a collaboration between the Kōkiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust and Te Awakairangi Health Network PHO in association with Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs and Metlink. The locations the bus visits over the coming weeks will be determined by suburb data that shows where the highest numbers of unvaccinated Māori and Pacific people reside.
Teresea Olsen, General Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust said the Delta Buster will help raise the profile of vaccinations with whānau in the Hutt Valley.
“We know that it’s hard for some whānau to get around and make appointments so we want to take the leg work out for them with this mobile based service. Having a uniquely Hutt-styled bus should help give us visibility in the community and encourage more people to get vaccinated.”
Around 130 people were vaccinated on Super Saturday at the Remakery in Lower Hutt, the first of whom was local rugby legend Piri Weepu.
The tohu displayed on the bus represents the past, history, and philosophies that guide and nurture us, as well as the collective ingenuity, focus and determination required to beat COVID-19.
The name ‘Delta Buster’ was gifted by rangatahi Kimihia Tangianau who was raised around the marae and is now working alongside the team at Wainuiomata Marae Clinic.
Find out more about the meaning of the Delta Buster tohu
The tohu on the Delta Buster
SIDES OF THE BUS:
He waka taua (war canoe) symbolising our ability to bring to the fore every skill and tool at our disposal to overcome any challenge, any obstacle as a collective force of will.
Taurapa (at the back) symbolising our past, our history, our phylosophies that guide and nuture us (in this life and in the after life). It is a reminder never to forget our culture and the strength it provides all of us and to be guided by that matauranga at all times.
Tauihu (at the front) representing 'the battle', a singular focus that includes all people of this planet regardless of who they are or where they come from (indicated by all the different colours) as well as tika tonu te kōrero (we are all in this together, the ailments that are brought to inflict unwellness and death by Whiro te tipua and his allies do not discriminate) strategy, forward thinking, ingenuity, total focus, and never-give-up mentality. These are qualities required of all of us to overcome COVID-19.
BACK OF BUS:
Whakanoa (restore balance)
The pattern is a mirror image and is therefore 'balanced' (like a calm day where you can see the sky’s reflection in the water), showing that all things have their place and time. Any battle requires careful consideration and balance to be restored. In this case, vaccination and coordinated systems of collectively working together is what we are using to restore balance to the world.
Those at the frontline must make sure that they can return home to their whānau at the end of the day, after doing battle or they will suffer the effects of being in a state of constant conflict. Every day when kaimahi finish, they should touch the back of the bus and leave their worries and mahi there for another day, as today becomes the past.