Church attendance aided by being digitally literate

People with different levels of digital literacy will not be excluded from getting their Covid vaccine pass, says Covid Minister, Chris Hipkins.

He gave the assurance, Wednesday on NewstalkZB.

Singling out the elderly, Hipkins acknowledged that not all people have the required digital skills necessary to get the vaccine pass. He said they will be able to phone 0800 222 478 and get their vaccine passport sent to them instead.

The “My Vaccine Pass” will take the form of a QR code that can be shown digitally or on printed paper, allowing venues to check whether a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.

Vaccine passes will not be required at schools, supermarkets, or other “essential” businesses.

Once the Government’s traffic light system is introduced, however, churches wanting to function without restrictions at orange and green levels will need to use vaccine passes – or suffer in-person limits on congregation sizes.

“Having the vaccine pass means people will be able to do the things they love”, Covid Minister, Chris Hipkins told  Stuff.

“We don’t want anyone to miss out, so we’re strongly encouraging those who’ve been putting off getting a vaccine to take that step now, as we prepare to transition into the COVID-19 Protection Framework.”

Vicar for Māori in the Auckland diocese, Manuel Beazley (pictured) is concerned Māori vaccination numbers and Māori ability to access the vaccine passport technology.

The vaccine level is a trust issue, he says.

“For Māori, who is saying it is just as important as what’s being said.”

Māori have been let down by institutions in so many ways, he says.

“There is a deep mistrust by many Māori towards institutions and so, when the Government through the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education or any other government ministry or agency, starts to direct people to take up the vaccine, understandably, Māori are very dubious.

“Our vaccine booking system works when you have access to a laptop or smartphone and good Internet connection.

“Drive-through vaccination stations are good if you’re not too far from it or if you have a vehicle that is registered and has gas to travel – or a vehicle in the first place.

“Many of our rural and isolated communities are predominantly Māori, [and] there are issues of access to vaccination centres in those places,” he says.

“We need to listen to the reason why a person is not choosing to be vaccinated. In the Māori worldview, we have the elements of Pono, Tika and Aroha. This must inform and guide our interaction.”

Beazley explains when observing Pono, one listens, not only to the words, but to “their heart – what they are feeling”.

Responding with Tika means responding in a way that is respectful, providing accurate and reliable information, and not forcing one’s opinion on others.

“When Pono and Tika have been followed, the result is always aroha – there is a new-found communion between people because they have heard each other, they have been free to interact without fear of judgement or coercion, and the product of that is aroha – communion, respect, compassion,” Beazley says.




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