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Tai Tokerau Leaders Call For Cases To Be Brought Into Managed Isolation Facility In Te Tai Tokerau

On 13 August the Director-General of Health directed Medical Officers of Health to exercise their functions, duties, and powers under the Health Act, to isolate all new cases of COVID19 at a location, (such as a dedicated facility), determined by the Medical Officer of Health. This direction is made under Section 7A (6) of the Health Act. Guidance on implementing this direction is still being sought.

To date, this location is a Managed Quarantine Facility (MQF) in Auckland – Jet Park Hotel. Presently there are 160 cases connected to the Auckland cluster isolating there, of which 89 have returned positive tests. An additional MQF is being set up in Auckland.

Iwi understand that those who have returned to New Zealand from abroad and test positive at the border have been required to complete their isolation at a MQF (in Auckland or Christchurch). When they arrive, returnees are taken to either a managed isolation facility (MIF) (if they have no symptoms), or to a quarantine facility (if they have symptoms). There is no MQF in Northland. Since the last guidance on the requirements for MIF, the management of these have been transferred from the Ministry of Health to the New Zealand Defence Force.

Medical Officers of Health who work in regions that do not have a MQF have not yet received information on how these are to be established. It is likely that the requirements for a facility will be similar to those for Managed Isolation facilities.

Te Kahu o Taonui will need to consider the idea that whānau who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are placed in managed isolation facilities, will need to stay in isolation if there is a continued outbreak. They can also take into consideration a continued outbreak of COVID-19 cases, and whether a facility can be established in Tai Tokerau so affected individuals can stay connected to their own whānau.

Te Kahu o Taonui Iwi member, Haami Piripi of Te Rarawa, says “the ultimate demonstration of manaakitanga is being able to take care of our people, especially when our whanau are unwell, having the choice and the resourcing to be able to do this within our homelands is critical for our people of Tai Tokerau and will need special attention both by Iwi and the Government”.

Signed Iwi Chairs: Harry Burkhardt (Ngati Kuri), Rhonda Kite (Te Aupouri), Haami Piripi (Te Rarawa), Kaio Karipa (Ngai Takoko), Margaret Mutu (Ngati Kahu), Teresa Tepania-Ashton (Kahukuraariki), Murray Moses (Whaingaroa), Mere Mangu (Ngapuhi), Thomas Hohaia (Te Roroa), Aperahama Edwards (Ngati Wai), Naida Glavish (Ngati Whatua).

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