“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.
“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.