When the Whanau Ora Community Clinic sought help from Police to encourage the Cook Islands Community to get vaccinated, Sergeant Craig Cartwright was quick to respond.
The blonde-haired and blue-eyed papaá from Auckland City District grew up around Cook Islanders, and is fluent in Cook Islands Māori.
Craig filmed a light-hearted video encouraging Cook Island communities to get vaccinated that Albert Numanga, Whanau Ora Community Clinic's marketing and projects manager, describes as both fun and relatable.
"This is a Whanau Ora Community Clinic response to encourage Māori and Pasifika to get vaccinated as we really want to keep our community safe from COVID," says Albert.
"Craig, who’s been busy on border control duties, gave a light-hearted approach to a serious message. He is heard saying ‘come on you guys stop stalling and get yourself vaccinated, otherwise I will quickly turn into an old man and topple over waiting for you guys to get the jab'.
“The video is fun and contains a quirky Cook Islands humour. Cook Islanders will easily relate to this message and Craig delivered the punch lines well."
In the video, Craig can be seen wearing a wig and twirling his long plaited blonde locks as he suggests that we should all hurry up and get the jabs because "the sooner we all get vaccinated the sooner we get out of lockdown and we can all get our haircut".
Albert says another line Craig uses in the video - “Let’s stop trying to be scientists and go get our jabs” - is very much Cook Islands humour and in Cook Islands circles will be viewed as amusing.
Craig says he wanted to do something that would capture people's attention, and was happy to help a community he loves and respects.
“Essentially my message is spoken in Cook Islands Māori and encourages all Cook Islanders, who are able to get the COVID vaccination, to do so as soon as possible.
"I try to use humour as I know it always sits well with the community and I know that it’s my unusual approach that will get the attention this campaign needs.”
It's not the first time Craig has attracted attention on social media. His guitar playing proved popular in this police video for Anzac Day, he's featured in community initiative videos for various Rarotongan community groups and he's also produced videos in Aitutaki and Rarotonga.