April 24, 2020
Checkpoints need to be public health stations
Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha is encouraging iwi who have been operating community checkpoints to work out how they can modify their activities to fit with the increased traffic that will happen under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions.
The checkpoints have come under fire from Opposition MPs and even from Police Minister Stuart Nash, who says they are illegal.
Mr Haumaha says iwi have been balancing legality with the vulnerability of their kaumatua in remote communities.
Police have been working alongside the checkpoints to ensure no one is impeded from legitimate activities.
"Now we have to think about how do we come out of this and how do we put an exit strategy in place that keeps our people safe. I think the public health messaging is really important around this. Invulnerable communities there will be increased testing, and with that traffic flow that is going to increase, I'd rather see our people taking a more measured approach, working with health officials, looking at testing people coming into their areas.
Wally Haumaha says police will be out in force over the Anzac weekend to ensure people don’t move out of full lockdown mode too early.
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