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Te Kahu O Taonui Urge Whanau & Manuhiri To Stay Home While We Understand Recent COVID-19 Full Impact In Community

Te Kahu o Taonui Iwi Collective Leaders – Urge Whānau and Manuhiri to stay at home while we understand the full impact of recent cases of COVID19 in the community

Several hui have been postponed and cancelled over the last 24 hours and it is important that as things escalate to remain calm and proactive in our Iwi/Māori response to COVID. Protecting our whakapapa, whānau, hapū, marae and communities is our primary responsibility. This is a role that cannot or will not be abdicated to others.

Harry Burkhardt Chair of Te Kahu o Taonui says that “with the cancellation of Waitangi for Iwi chairs and the escalation of community cases we believe that further precautionary measures are required.

Traveling north this weekend should be postponed until we understand the breadth of the current COVID-19 outbreak. He adds “If there are large events being planned consider rescheduling or scaling down”.

New Zealand’s borders are porous. Practices and processes need to be adopted to match the increasing threat that COVID19 is presenting globally. Te Kahu o Taonui welcome and endorse the recommendations of the National Iwi Chairs Forum – Pandemic Response Group based on the guidance from Dr Rawiri Taonui.

We agree that the government must cap entries into New Zealand to 1500 maximum a week to reduce active cases in MIQ below 20.

We agree that the government introduce LAMP or antigen testing for all arrivals immediately upon landing in New Zealand. This will send positive cases directly to quarantine. This will avoid a repeat of the Northland case.

We also agree that If the South African strain is transmissible via ventilation systems, the government must close the borders to hotspots UK B117 and South Africa B1351 countries.

Finally, the setting up of information points led by Māori communities is a positive move to keeping our people safe. We encourage the Government to follow the lead of our people in the North who are proactively protecting the borders and collective territories of Te Taitokerau.

Haami Piripi Chair of Te Rarawa says:

“We are front row respondents to the pandemic who hold a place of primacy in the composition of the local population and who have a track record of mobilisation which has already been utilised by several agencies including the police. Our participation is the x-factor in achieving compliance. As a collective we have expended considerable iwi resources in the pursuit of an adequate response including an enormous amount of goodwill. We are the best source of data around the movements of Māori and other whānau in and out of our rohe. And that is why the roadside monitoring is so critical and must be supported

Te Kahu o Taonui ask that in order for our communities to stand a fighting chance, continue to be vigilant on personal hygiene, use the Covid 19 app and unless it is a whānau emergency, please do not return or come to Taitokerau until we know there are no risks posed to our people.

Signed Te Kahu o Taonui Chairs

Harry Burkhardt – Ngāti Kuri Trust Board, Rhonda Kite – Te Aupouri, Dr Makere Mutu – Te Rūnanga ā Iwi o Ngāti Kahu, Haami Piripi – Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa,

Wallace Rivers –Te Rūnanga ō Ngāi Takoto, Murray Moses - Te Rūnanga ō Whaingaroa –, Teresa Tepania-Ashton – Kahukuraariki Trust, Thomas Hohaia – Te Roroa, Wane Wharerau -Te Rūnanga ā Iwi ō Ngāpuhi, Aperehama Edwards Ngāti Wai Trust Board, Kahurangi Naida Glavish – Te Rūnanga ō Ngāti Whātua.

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