March 24, 2020
East Coast turns back on outsiders
Checkpoints are springing up on the East Coast and iwi and hapū try to exclude outsiders who may be carrying Covid-19.
Te Whānau ā Apanui is instigating a system of permits for residents coming in and out for work or for people who come into the rohe to work, such as kiwifruit pickers, but it will seek to deter other travellers.
If they get through, they could be stopped further round East Cape at Te Araroa and Wharekahika, where Te Whānau ā Tuwhakairiora intends to establish roadside stops.
Checkpoint co-ordinator Tina Ngata says the health profile of the community and the lack of health resources within the Ngāati Porou rohe means members are both more likely to contract Covid-19, as well as less likely to recover from it.
The Government’s announcement of a level 3 Covid-19 alert raising to level 4 on Midnight Wednesday means there should be no non-necessary travel, but there are still high numbers of tourists travelling through the rohe.
Ms Ngata says she also wants to get the message to residents that every time they travel to town they risk bringing the infection back to the community.
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