September 06, 2021
Border control vigilant but not vigilante
A Taitokerau Border Control coordinator says the reinstatement of roadside checkpoints is having the desired effect of cutting down unnecessary movements.
Rueben Taipari says the drop to level three doesn’t mean level free, and the only ones moving around should be essential workers or those returning to their homes, not their holiday homes.
He says there was a big drop in traffic from Friday to Saturday, with police turning a number of vehicles around.
There were also some drivers who objected to what they called vigilantism.
“Some people just refuse to see a Māori initiative, they refuse to see it as a positive thing. That’s their problem, that’s not mine. But they will understand that we are vigilant and we are taking this very seriously. If they don’t understand that, we’ll just keep turning them around,” Mr Taipari says.
He says the checkpoints are starting to win the support of the wider population which recognises the importance of keeping the far north safe from COVID-19.
There were 20 new community cases of COVID-19 reported on both Saturday and Sunday, bringing the total for the outbreak to 801.
So far 82 people have recovered from the illness.
There was one death, a woman in her 90s who health authorities say had a number of underlying conditions.
Her death in North Shore Hospital overnight on Friday was the first in New Zealand for the delta strain and brings the total number of deaths in New Zealand from the pandemic to 27.