Iwi Checkpoint Leaders Seeking Confidence In Border Controls
Three iwi leaders who helped coordinate iwi checkpoints in Taranaki, Te Tai Tokerau and Te Whānau-a-Apanui are calling on the Government to front up and provide confidence in their border control systems.
The concerns are being raised in light of news that there have been multiple breaches of quarantine and border control regulations, including two COVID-19 positive travellers being allowed to travel the length of the North Island.
“We are demanding assurances that the Government has fixed the failures in the border control system and for full explanations from ministers and officials on what went wrong,” said Taranaki iwi checkpoint spokesperson Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“The problems with this cannot be blamed solely on the Ministry of Health, the Prime Minister and Government must take responsibility and be fully accountable to the public,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.
“We closed our iwi checkpoints based on assurances given by the Government and yet we are now seeing weak border controls and an incompetent quarantine system,” said Te Tai Tokerau checkpoint spokesperson Hone Harawira.
“We are seeking confidence as iwi that there is now a robust system in place to protect our regions and Aotearoa from a new wave of infections, so that we don’t have to again use our strained resources to set up checkpoints,” said Mr Harawira.
“The Ministry of Health has revealed that new arrivals are not being routinely tested, despite that being their own policy – this is outrageous and points to wider systemic failures,” said Te Whānau-a-Apanui checkpoint spokesperson Rawiri Waititi.
“These unfortunate events could lead to a real erosion of public trust in the Government’s pandemic response, which would make things even worse. They need to front up and give us the confidence that they are taking border controls as seriously as we in iwi have been,” said Mr Waititi.