March 27, 2020
Aotea threatened by boatie holidaymakers
Which bit of stay home don’t you understand?
That’s the question Ngāti Rehua Ngāti Wai ki Aotea are asking the hordes of boaties descending on Great Barrier, clearing out the local store, and preparing to spend the month in glorious isolation.
Spokesperson Kelly Klink says the outsiders are straining the island’s internet capacity, affecting children attempting their schoolwork and whānau who want to stay in touch.
They will also overburden the island’s ability to absorb waste, with all public bins and recycling stations shut down and residents asked to keep waste at home until proper recycling can be restored.
She says at least 50 boats arrived on Wednesday.
"They’re almost treating it as a holiday where we are looking at the island as a place of survival," Ms Klink says.
Many of Aotea’s residents, including many kuia and kaumatua, live in very isolated places and their resistance to viruses brought in by outsiders is very low.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com