GUEST BLOG: Hone Harawira – TAI TOKERAU BORDER CONTROL ONE WEEK AND COUNTING

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“It’s been a mission getting to this point, but as long as our focus is on protecting our communities we can’t go too far wrong”

“It was a boost to get the tautoko of the Regional District Health Boards and all the Iwi of Taitokerau last week, and to get the support of the Police Commissioner and his Māori Focus Forum as well.”

“Taitokerau still has a high rate of unvaccinated people, limited health services, and a growing list of Covid cases, so you can understand why we are concerned at the predictions of a massive spike in cases after this holiday period, particularly if we don’t manage our borders effectively.

“Our Regional Coordinators, Rueben Taipari and Nyze Manuel, have been working overtime to get everything ready for when our southern borders are opened on December 15th, meeting with Police and Health Authorities and talking with locals so that everyone is aware of what’s going to be happening, and training our people”

“Yesterday they were on site with the Police, working out lanes for emergency vehicles, business traffic and private travel.

“And the local community in Waipu, Takahiwai and Ruakaka have been fabulous. One of the locals has given over his land and facilities for a vaccination site, and we’re hoping to have rapid-antigen testing available as well but that’s a work in progress. We’ve had people come forward to help on the front line, and others offer to cook for us every day. And when they heard we start every day with a karakia, some of the local Highland Pipe band said they’ll come out to give us a skirl of the pipes each morning as well. Bloody brilliant!

“And we’ve also been contacted by Ngāti Whātua who will be working with Police on the Checkpoint on SH12 to help with the flow of traffic coming north via Dargaville.

“So with everyone working together it’s a bit disappointing to hear David Seymour toss out his ‘iwi thug’ card the other day, and good to hear Minister Davis slap him down and speak out in support of everyone working together on the borders.

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“To be honest, we’re still worried about the impact of the human tsunami over Xmas, and it’s why we’d rather have nobody come till we hit the 90% or get double vaxxed if they do, and we’ll keep pushing for that standard every day. But we’re preparing to work with Iwi, the Police and the community to help reduce the chance of Covid spreading by ensuring travellers meet government requirements.

“7 days to go – I only hope we’re doing enough.

Hone Harawira
Tai Tokerau Border Control

22 COMMENTS

  1. Unless the road blocks turn unvaxed Northlanders back when travelling south. The road blocks are a waste of time. Sure you may prevent Aucklanders spreading infections in Northland. But Northlanders travelling south and getting infected in Auckland thus bringing back to the province covid, is a much bigger risk.

    So will the road blocks work either way? And will returning unvaxed Northlanders, having spent time in Auckland, be turned around at the road blocks? As the time taken to get a clear covid test is days (and longer over Christmas) many Northlanders will effectively be blocked from returning home.

    • Dams keep a lot of water at bay even when they allow controlled spill though.

      ‘But Northlanders travelling south and getting infected in Auckland thus bringing back to the province covid, is a much bigger risk.”

      Do you always make it up as you go along?

      • “Do you always make it up as you go along?”

        No. Please counter the risk argument if you think it is wrong. In your opinion there is no risk? maybe some risk?

        Denigration of an argument does not answer it.

    • Hmm I think you have a good point here, Northlanders should stay at home too. This would all be much easier and effective if the boundaries had stayed up. Let’s just hope that people will use their heads and hearts and have some common sense and compassion.

    • I got a brochure from the government yesterday that explained that vaxxed people can catch and pass on the virus.
      They didn’t elucidate on any relative risk.

      But hey let’s pick on the unvaxxed. Society is long due a scapegoat and exterminating the 10% of recalcitrant “vaccine hesitant” will provide some summer fun for the low IQ Kiwis out there.

      • You are correct we need to leave the vaccine hesitant alone and the vaccine hestitant leave the vaccinated to get on with their lives instead of these ridiculous protests holding up trades and access to streets.

        • I’m happy to stay away from bars and restaurants. I don’t need to catch germs off those nasty vaxxed people. They can spread it amongst themselves and engage in self-immolation, as we are seeing in the northern hemisphere.

      • the 10percent are exterminating themselves voluntarily by courting severe illness when the vaxxed will usually get relatively mild symptoms, their selfishness is causing lockdowns, their selfishness makes roadblocks necessary..so let’s can the rightard snowflake ‘vaccines trigger me and hurt my feel feels’ stuff shall we?

        the final hope for the unvaxxed is omnicron turns out mild, easy transmission means we all get it…hopefully pandemic over…

  2. Hone, marvellous to see people working together for a common goal, well done to all involved.
    Yet again Seymour shows he is no more than a political opportunist willing to attack others efforts to appeal to his racist base.

  3. Good luck Hone. I hope there will always be at least one policeman at each site, even as only a witness.
    I don’t have a good feeling about these next few weeks.

    • Yes garabaldi this will be an opportunity for the AV mob to make trouble at checkpoint. This would increase the delay and frustration of Aucklanders who would unfairly blame Hone. Hone may well need ‘security’. The police will do, either way the AV mob will need watching.

  4. Kia ora Hone and all your community helpers working together to keep your region safe from Covid.

    Obviously this is not unusual for Maori to band together to keep their communities safe, we’ve been doling this for generations.

    To those keyboard warriors who are against your actions for your region, may I suggest that instead of throwing bricks why don’t they go and see if they can do anything to help these volunteers – this is the NZ way.

    Arohanui, kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui. Much love, be strong, be brave, be patient.

  5. Fantastic Hone I wish you well in your hard work and the people of the north are lucky to have such a commitment from your ability to rally the troops and do the right thing, and I really hope your message gets through to Aucklanders and also Northlanders traveling the other way.

  6. Have you thought through the logistics. Hone Harawira said this morning that they will process 10 cars at a time. If it takes 1 minute per car and cars arrive at 600/hour – no backlog. However the claim this morning was that, at peak, the road north handles 10,000 cars an hour. If this is true it will mean that after 4 hours the backlog will be some 37,600 cars, will stretch from Waipu back to Auckland and the delay will be more than 6 hours. Even if the volume is only 1000 cars per hour we have about 7km of backlog after 4 hours and a person entering the queue will crawl for a little over 2.5 hours. Woe betide us all if it takes 2 minutes per car. This exercise is unworkable and will come to grief.

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