Ruapehu Iwi Urge Outsiders To Stay Home
Ohakune-based iwi Ngāti Rangi are urging outsiders to not come into the Ruapehu area to self-isolate over the lockdown period particularly over the upcoming Easter break.
“Ruapehu is not open for people to come here to self-isolate. We have enough non-locals here as it is and people need to stay at home” said Te Kāhui o Paerangi Chair Whetu Moataane.
“Ohakune alone has 800 holiday homes. Our message to home-owners is clear. Do not come here to self-isolate and do not come here over Easter. You will be putting pressure on our rural health system and food supply chain. Respect our place by respecting our wishes. We aren’t open for business” said Mr Moataane.
“As a rural community our local health system can and should only respond to the sitting population. We do not have the capacity to cater for visitors as well” said Mr Moataane.
Iwi are calling on local authorities to act quickly to restrict access to the rohe during this time.
“Now is the time for leadership from local government. Council need to use their influence to remind visitors and tourists of the seriousness of the situation” said Mr Moataane.
“Police are increasing their presence at key entry points to our rohe and advising travelers to return to where they have come from” said Mr Moataane.
“We would prefer that our borders be shut immediately. It’s the only way we are going to combat this ngārara and keep our people and community safe” said Mr Moataane.
“If people love our rohe just as we do, then they will respect our position and help us to look after our communities and our special place at this challenging time” Mr Moataane.