November 24, 2021
Permanent lockdown political no go
Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson says keeping the country under permanent lockdown was untenable, but people on the ground can still make decisions about what is good for their communities.
Tūhoe says it is not reopening Te Urewera until late January because it still has high numbers of unvaccinated people in remote and isolated communities, and other iwi are also telling members living outside and other to not to come into their rohe during the summer holiday season.
Mr Jackson says while some Māori leaders have slammed the shift to the traffic light system, it’s something many New Zealand, Māori and non-Māori, say they’re ready for.
“It might have suited the Māori Party and their 1 percent of supporters and a few other for us to shut the borders up forever but I know most Māori want to get back to work, most Māori want to get around the country so we have to balance what we are doing with vaccinations. We can’t lock anyone up. We can’t lock our people up,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Government today announced it would ease managed isolation and quarantine at the borders, with fully vaccinated New Zealanders in Australia able to return from January 16 with only seven days in self-isolation required.
New Zealanders from other countries can start returning from February 13 on the same terms, and from April 13 there will be staged reopening for other visitors.