Latest rankings: Queenstown first to hit 90% double-vax target, Selwyn on 89.2%

The Queenstown Lakes District Council is expecting receive four new Special Housing Area...
he vaccination rate for Queenstown-Lakes District has topped 90 percent. Photo: Getty Images
The winner of The New Zealand Herald's Top Towns and the first place to reach 90 percent full Covid-19 vaccination in the country has been announced.

Ministry of Health data shows as of Wednesday, 90.4 percent of residents in the Queenstown-Lakes District are fully vaccinated.

The district has a population of 35,862 and 32,409 have now had two doses.

Queenstown-Lakes just nudged past Wellington to reach the achievement first. The capital currently has a full vaccination rate of 89.3 percent.

It is closely followed by the Selwyn District on 89.2 percent, Dunedin on 87.5 percent and Auckland on 85.8 percent.

A special poster commemorating the winner of the Top Towns competition will be published in Thursday's Herald. Designed by cartoonist Rod Emmerson, a framed print of the artwork will be sent to the mayor of Queenstown.

Mayor Jim Boult told the Herald he was very pleased they had taken out the top spot.

"I'm going to say I'm not surprised because we've been leading the country in the vaccination rate, if you want to call it that.

"We were pretty confident but we have put a lot of work in on it. A lot of organisations throughout the community have been involved, I've even been handing out sausages to people who get vaccinated," he said.

He said they had set a target at the council for a 95 percent full vaccination rate by Christmas.

"We are well on our way to that."

Boult said he thinks the high vaccination rate is because the district is heavily reliant on tourism.

"We are a town that relies on visitors so when Auckland opens up again, we are gonna get folk from up north visiting us so I think the community has thought the best thing we can do to protect ourselves is to get vaccinated."

He said it is also because they have a very engaged community.

"They are very keen to look after themselves and their neighbours and whānau, right across the district they've really adopted it as something they just want to do," he said.

Boult said he wanted to thank everyone in the community who had been vaccinated, especially those who were reluctant.

"Well done to them and for those few who haven't, please join us, please look after yourself and please look after the community."

The Herald has been regularly publishing the proportion of people partially and fully vaccinated across all 66 New Zealand territorial authorities since the start of October.

The vaccination journey has been full of ups and downs for many places, and the top 20 is now completely different to how it began.

The Kaikōura District was leading the way for the first week before it was overtaken by Dunedin.

Dunedin held the top spot for several weeks before finally being dethroned by Queenstown-Lakes, which has been first ever since.




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