June 21, 2022
Accolade for Taitokerau Border Control volunteers
The controversial Tai Tokerau Border Control has won the Māori section of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.
During the Covid lockdowns the ropu led by former MP Hone Harawira set up roadside checkpoints in the north, drawing criticism from Opposition parties and political commentators.
Eventually Police incorporated them into their own operations.
Over two year more than 200 volunteers checked the vaccination status of people going into the rohe, distributed information, carried out patrols, supported households with positive cases and contributed to the design of a cultural process for gatherings during various COVID alert levels, including tangihanga, protests and sports events.
Health Minister Andrew Little says the awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health and disability sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders, going above-and-beyond for people in their communities.
The supreme award went to the Kaikohe Health Shuttle service, which with limited resources makes sure people in the community can get to medical appointments and vaccinations.