GUEST BLOG: Hone Harawira – WE’RE MAORI, NOT MUSHROOMS

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On Tue 28 Sept, the Police contacted us about a woman from Kaikohe, who had tested positive for Covid in Auckland last week.
Earlier that day though, another story was already circulating of a wahine who’d also tested positive in Auckland, who’d been doing the rounds up in Muriwhenua, visiting all her relations and doing a bit of other stuff on the side.
Turns out it was the same person.
The police had been doing electronic surveillance on her movements but hadn’t bothered to check with the woman’s whānau about where she’d been – until we told them to do so.
When the police checked into the game, they only had about 10% of the information we’d already gathered across a couple of hours. By the time they got moving, social media was already lighting up with rumour and speculation, and by this morning people were lining up around the block for tests, Kohanga were getting closed down, kids were getting pulled out of school early, and communities up and down Muriwhenua were getting worried.
Then at 2.30pm we get a message from the DHB saying “after our investigations, the clinical evidence we have suggests the case was not infectious while in Northland, and very likely acquired her infection after returning to Auckland. Therefore, at present, the risk to people living in Kaitaia remains very low. We advise that all activities under Alert Level 2 guidance can continue to operate.”
Hopefully that is the case – but we’re not saying it’s over just yet
And I’ll say it again – its bloody disappointing that whenever a case breaks, the Police and
Health authorities use privacy law to keep everyone in the dark. Meanwhile social media goes feral and they don’t know how to manage it.
A couple of weeks ago there was a border breach. Police and Health authorities didn’t know about it until Tai Tokerau Border Control told them. They jumped on it and whisked the offender away, but we got no feedback on why the breach occurred or if the offender was tested.
Then there was another one they didn’t know about – until we told them. They picked the guy up and shot him back to Auckland, but again no feedback.
And there have been heaps of other cases called in to us of people coming up from Auckland on the back of cut-and-paste exemptions and feeble excuses.
And now this one.
There is no “Team of 5 million” if the Māori’s aren’t allowed to play (we should’ve learnt from the All Blacks going to South Africa without Māori to suit the white boys)
Authorities need to bring Iwi and Border Control in on the action from the get-go to maximise the community reach that the Police and Health Authorities don’t have, for the benefit of the communities we are all supposed to be serving.
Hone Harawira
Tai Tokerau Border Control

16 COMMENTS

      • Agree Pat
        Our current leaders despite a Maori controlled caucus are doing little to help Maori on a day to day basis but rather have a long term policy of Maori control.
        That maybe ok but I really doubt it.

      • Northern Māori are lucky to have Harawira organizing their defenses! I would like to see him back in parliament again, though not much chance of that unless Mana get into pre-election coalition with TPM, which may not be as unlikely as it once was? They are certainly more onto it than the Labour Māori caucus!

  1. So much for partnership our government tends to roll this line out usually when they want something and it appears our Police don’t give a fuck about some of our borders as when it comes to patrolling them they are useless. Its the governments job to try and get people vaccinated peterhitch and if this was carried out how our Maori health experts advised them earlier on we could have afforded much of the Maori hesitancy.

  2. Why are the Maori cabinet members so quite and not giving their masters Jacinda and Andrew an ear bashing for not listening to Maori leaders when it comes to getting them vaccinated. If this poor rate was occurring under a National government Willie Jackson would be on the news every night and even Kelvis Davies might say something but at the moment their listen is deafening.
    Maori are holding the country back and an enquiry needs to be held as to why because it is not just covid it’s most aspects of live . They have been left behind by successive governments and the causes need to be sorted rather than reeling out platitudes and blaming colonization

    • Like Xi who is incorporating authoritarian rule into his corona responses, corona is just a tool to negotiate what should have already been done.

  3. Thanks Hone for saying this.

    The Govt keeps soft soaping rule breakers and keeps the rest of us in the dark. Like the Raglan/ Hamilton thing, nobody knows where they have been. I do not accept that privacy concerns trump public health, not in the manner this has been played out. People get sick and possibly die because no-one is even allowed to know where the person has been. Not their name or anything, simply where they have been so people know to go out and get tested.

    Auckland lock down hasnt worked because our PM puts the appearance of being PC before peoples health and economic wellbeing and this includes neutering the police with regards to Covid enforcement.

  4. Great job actively protecting your community but seems like community members lie to the cops when they exit Auckland but are honest when they meet their iwi at the northern roadblocks. You say the cops are all about privacy but there is nothing stopping you from naming and shaming the miscreants you come across.

    Radio NZ had a story that Maori have low vaccination rate because vaccination is “Anglocentric” . Kinda true the vaccines have been produced by russians, chinese, indians and anglos. No maori vaccine yet.

    However the need to get vaccinated has been all over internet, TV, radio, newspapers and government health service announcement for 18 months. The vaccine is available to maori at specialist maori health providers and at every other vaccine center.

    May be its a failure of the maori labour cabinet and wider maori leadership to get their people vaccinated. The loudest maori leaders in regard to vaccination are Brian Tamaki and Billy TeKahika. Where is maori leadership telling those two to shut up.

    “Team of 5 million maori arent allowed to play”. Really? Play your part make your kids get vaccinated.

    • Joseph: “Radio NZ had a story that Maori have low vaccination rate because vaccination is “Anglocentric”.”

      Anglocentric: oh good grief! I do hope that RNZ didn’t uncritically report this nonsense. Unfortunately, I suspect that it will have done just that.

      I’m not surprised that some Maori think this way. I worked in the health system for many years: back then, there was a cohort which distrusted health services because they were “pakeha”. So they didn’t seek treatment until disease was well-advanced, didn’t keep outpatient appointments, and took no notice of health messages.

      With regard to provenance of vaccinations, I remember reading somewhere that it was the Chinese – in about the 17th century, or maybe earlier – who pioneered vaccination. They used a crude form of inoculation against smallpox, which was rife in all countries at the time. So what was that about Anglocentrism?

  5. Hone, forget about the borders, put your effort in getting yours (and my) whanau up north there vaccinated if you can. The young ones not even listening to our kaumatua/whaea/kuia/koroua so who will they listen to. Its good that our elders have been well vaccinated but tamariki can still give it to our sick whanau.

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