Matakaoa Immunity Community members
May 2022

Matakaoa ‘immunity community’ named 2022 Community of the Year for their protection against COVID-19

The incredible Matakaoa ‘immunity community’ has been named the 2022 winner of Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau – Aotearoa Community of the Year award. Matakaoa, at the top of the East Cape, has been the leading light for Māori communities since the beginning of the pandemic, starting with checkpoints up the East Coast. They shared information about vaccination and misinformation early with whānau and made vital decisions using tikanga and te ao Māori methodologies. Matakaoa have continuously led the way in finding innovative ways to connect with whānau, working with storytellers, scientists and doctors to learn about vaccinations and make sense of the information from their own perspectives and community values. 

Karawhiua was incredibly privileged to work with the Matakaoa community to create a hugely successful national campaign that showcased the character of this amazing community and the reasons why they were choosing to be vaccinated. The campaign resonated with Māori across the motu as our people saw others who looked, acted, and sounded like them. Karawhiua congratulates Matakaoa on their award and their exemplary mahi in responding to the dangers of COVID-19.