• Media release
  • 26 Oct 2021
  • 4 min read

Pūhoro and Genesis to improve access to vaccination info

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Pūhoro and Genesis Energy have joined forces to help make trustworthy information on the Covid-19 vaccine more accessible to whānau and rangatahi Māori.

As the country mobilised for Super Saturday, Pūhoro remained concerned that rangatahi and whānau needed to continue to have opportunities to gain answers to their questions about the vaccine from people and sources they trust.

"The algorithmic nature of social media can often lead to misleading and incorrect information being spread about the Covid-19 vaccine. We want to use our platform to invite whānau to have their concerns answered, both from mātauranga and western science perspectives. We hope this could lead to whānau being in a better position to make a clear decision for themselves around the Covid vaccine," says Naomi Manu, Pūhoro Manahautū.

The campaign named He Kōrero Pūwero – Vax Chats, will feature a series of video interviews between Pūhoro rangatahi and experts in mātauranga and western science. Bite-size snippets of information will then be placed on social media platforms with which rangatahi and their whānau engage in daily. The information will respond to anonymous questions that have come directly from rangatahi and whānau across the Pūhoro community, and be underpinned by respect for mātauranga Māori and western science.

"There has been so much emotive kōrero about why whānau should be vaccinated, but I believe whānau have every right to first have their questions and concerns answered by sources and people they trust without feeling judged or shamed. Pūhoro is in a position to do this and can facilitate access to correct information to help whānau make decisions. Importantly, we will engage experts to provide straightforward, friendly advice from perspectives of both mātauranga Māori and western science," says Manu.

Rangatahi from the Pūhoro kaupapa are excited to front the Vax Chats campaign. Finn Martin (Ngāti Maniapoto) is studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Auckland and is invested in ensuring Māori access sound information, "as a Māori medical student, I want to make sure our rangatahi and whānau access accurate and culturally relevant information so they can make more informed decisions. These decisions are crucial to supporting the reduction of health inequities among Māori now and in the future."

The campaign will run during October and November. The videos will be released through the Pūhoro STEMM website and social media pages, and also distributed through Genesis’ social media sites.

Genesis partners with Pūhoro through initiatives in schools close to its power schemes, encouraging students to choose school subjects and career pathways in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Michaela Latimer, Genesis’ Pou Hapori (Community Liaison Manager), says the company is pleased to help extend the reach of Pūhoro’s videos through its communications networks, "at Genesis we rely on accurate information to provide our service, and through our partnership with Pūhoro we encourage rangatahi to seek knowledge in STEM subjects at school. It’s a privilege to help relay trustworthy information from rangatahi to whānau to help people make a decision about vaccination."

Rangatahi and whānau may submit questions anonymously through the Pūhoro website at puhoro.org.nz/questions

Media contact:
Estelle Sarney
External Communications Manager, Genesis 
027 269 6383

Kemp Reweti
Chief Operating Officer, Pūhoro
0220 480 259

About Pūhoro
Pūhoro assists Māori secondary school students to participate and achieve in STEMM subjects, and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and mātauranga. Students receive weekly mentoring in their STEMM subjects, attend wānanga at tertiary campuses each term, and are offered internship and work experience opportunities to support their learning. Find out more at Pūhoro STEMM (puhoro.org.nz)

About Genesis
Genesis Energy is a diversified New Zealand energy company. It sells electricity, reticulated natural gas and LPG through its retail brands of Genesis Energy and Energy Online. It is New Zealand’s largest energy retailer with around 500,000 customers. The Company generates electricity from a diverse portfolio of thermal and renewable generation assets located in different parts of the country. Find out more at Genesis Energy (genesisenergy.co.nz)

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