June 15, 2020
Health official praises work of iwi checkpoints
The Health Ministry’s Māori deputy director general believes iwi COVID-19 checkpoints are being given a negative rap they don’t deserve.
New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball has put a bill into the ballot which would force the police to act wherever someone set up an illegal roadblock.
John Whaanga says he’s keen to get a more formal assessment done of the checkpoints, which were mainly in Te Whānau a Apanui, Tairāwhiti and Te Taitokerau.
He says they were’t just about policing.
"When you talk to people who were on those front lines they were asking a lot of questions about whether or not people needed help, how many people they had in their households, whether or not there were people who needed medication, so they were talking with people not only about how to keep themselves safe, they were also collecting information which means in some cases they were able to follow up and support people," he says.
Mr Whaanga says he was also impressed with the work done by iwi and Māori organisations to organise hygiene and food packs during the lockdown.
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