Te Kahu o Taonui continue to focus on keeping our communities safe from the impacts of COVID19 while we increase vaccination levels. Checkpoints are tools to support this and have been established at Uretiti and Maungaturoto alongside NZ Police, Taitokerau Border Control and local hapū and Iwi Patuharakeke, Te Parawhau, Te Uri o Hau, Ngātiwai and Ngāti Whātua to deal with the influx of travellers from the re-opening of the Auckland border from yesterday 15th December until 17th January. Antony Thompson, Iwi Lead CE for Te Kahu o Taonui and COO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua says, “Working in partnership, we intend to build trust between Iwi and the Police, create confidence with our communities and lead together by example minimising exposure of COVID-19 to Te Tai Tokerau”.
Nasal testing is available on Maungaturoto side via local Hauora provider Te Hā Oranga’s mobile service as well as saliva testing for essential workers only. Verification stickers are being supplied to those who move through to keep the operation at peak efficiency and effectiveness as we are mindful of the impact holding up the traffic flow could potentially have on both whānau and business coming in or out of the North. These endeavours are being supplemented by maritime traffic compliance for our coastal communities by Customs and flying squads for our vulnerable rural communities.
All involved have agreed to an operating model that has fostered a strong spirit of mahitahi and collaboration on the front line. We acknowledge the additional resource from NZ Police outside our rohe coming in to tautoko their Northland colleagues and our grassroots efforts to keep Tai Tokerau safe, as well as the myriads of travellers who have come through prepared and ready to co-operate. Huhana Lyndon, CE of Ngātiwai Trust Board says, “We recognise also the manaaki and hospitality being provided by our local hapū and iwi ensuring the people are well-cared for and supported throughout this process. This collective effort is seeing the border control operation running like a well-oiled machine with large volumes of traffic getting through, minimal numbers being turned around and is testament to the great deal of hard work, diplomacy and co-operation that has taken place on all sides.”
We reiterate that we welcome our whānau who are double vaccinated and test negative to return home and be prepared to co-operate as our role in helping to actively protect our borders will be taken seriously. We ask manuhiri to continue expecting to be checked and take seriously their responsibilities in keeping our communities safe as not all cars will be stopped at the check points. We are confident that those who do not comply will be sent home which is a measure we support because we as Tai Tokerau will be remaining vigilant over the Christmas period in knowing we already have COVID in our community and a low vaccination rate.
For all media enquiries please contact Te Kahu o Taonui Lead CE Antony Thompson on 027 323 9811