December 03, 2021
Iwi ready for Kaipara Covid spread
Ngāti Whātua is shifting its focus from checkpoints to preparing for a surge of Covid cases once Auckland’s borders come down.
Anthony Thompson from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua says police will stop supporting the Te Hana checkpoint on December 15 and move their activities further into Te Taitokerau.
They will conduct spot checks to ensure travellers from Auckland are fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid test, and issue fines for those in breach.
The rūnanga’s focus will be on supporting that self-isolating in the community, as well as doing more testing and vaccinating.
“We know over the summer break there may be an influx of travellers and holidaymakers from Auckland into Northland and what we want to do is make sure we have conditions and contingency plans if there are outbreaks, especially through the Kaipara,” Mr Thompson says.
Ngāti Whātua shares the concerns of other Taitokerau iwi that a hard border would be preferable until 90 per cent of vaccination targets in the north are met.