March 23, 2020
Rules set for tribal border
The mayor of Ōpōtiki District believes a Covid-19 rāhui over the rohe of Te Whānau ā Apanui can be positive if managed well.
Lyn Riesterer met with the iwi Bay of Plenty Regional Council and police on Sunday to discuss the plan to ban outsiders including iwi members living away from staying in the rohe and possibly putting kaumatua at risk of catching the virus.
They are now talking about community safety zones where travellers can be quizzed on their health status and whether they have recently been out of the country.
She says while other iwi or hapū may want to try something similar, Te Whānau ā Apanui have the advantage of only one road running through the rohe.
"So they are able to establish contact zones where they can talk with everybody, check who is going in and out, where they are going, and reassure work is not a problem. It's about please don't be in contact with their kaumatua, and it's following very common-sense rules the government has put out around self-isolation," Ms Riesterer says.
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