More Than Five Thousand New Zealanders Sign Petition In Favour Of Police-supported Iwi Checkpoints
A petition asking Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to continue to facilitate support for iwi checkpoints has been signed by more than five thousand New Zealanders.
Live for just one week, as at 8.20pm on Sunday May 10 the petition had been signed by 5,035 people who supported the request that the Prime Minister "continue to support the community checkpoints that are protecting vulnerable people from Covid-19".
While some have called into question the legal status of community checkpoints, it has been confirmed by legal scholars Max Harris and Professor David Williams in this article published in The Spinoff yesterday that checkpoints are "an important and lawful part of New Zealand's Covid-19 response".
Postcode analysis of those who have signed the petition suggest support is strong in the Auckland region (25% of all New Zealand-based signatories); then Wellington (16%), then Bay of Plenty and Gisborne (the two regions each represented 11% of signatories). Despite there being no checkpoints in the South Island, 10% of signatories came from this part of New Zealand.
Indigenous rights advocate and environmental educator Tina Ngata was one of those working on checkpoints in Te Tai Rāwhiti region. On seeing the support for this petition, Tina commented: "Our nation has a long history of communities pulling together and just doing what needs to be done in the face of adversity. The community checkpoints are an extension of that New Zealand spirit."
She went on to say "Rising to this challenge will require us to again work together, to make the most of our strengths and to be the best form of ourselves. That has always been our strength as a nation, and that's what people everywhere are responding to with their support for the checkpoints."
The petition will remain open while checkpoints are still in place.