Thursday, 18 November 2021
Ngātiwai iwi leader calls for Northland’s borders to be kept closed
Te Iwi o Ngātiwai recognise the constraints and pressures that lockdown has had on our Tāmaki Makaurau whānau, our kāinga of Pākiri and Aotea Great Barrier. “We acknowledge the hardships of lockdown life for our whānau in Tāmaki and want to see our whānau, but we must remain vigilant to suppress the spread of the virus” says Te Poari o Ngātiwai Chairman Aperahama Kerepeti-Edwards.
Chairman Aperahama calls on the Government to pause plans to open the Northern border to Aucklanders following yesterday’s announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“Our Ngātiwai kāinga are a holiday hotspots, we believe it is premature to open Northlands borders when we have such low Māori vaccination rates across Northland and Auckland”.
The Ngātiwai Trust Board support the position of Te Kahu o Taonui opposing the opening of the northern border until Māori vaccination rates in Auckland and Northland reach the goal of 90% vaccination rate.
“We are a part of a Northland drive to accelerate Māori vaccination rates alongside our health colleagues and the wider public sector” says Raukura CEO, Huhana Lyndon.
“There is massive mobilisation taking place across the region, we need time to raise our vaccination rates for Māori to protect our whakapapa when Aucklanders come North”.
Ngātiwai Trust Board have grave concerns following yesterday’s announcement, Edwards states “The government has little in place to ensure that those coming north into our region after 15th December are double vaccinated”.
Edwards adds “We are willing to consider opening the border when the government comes to the table to engage meaningfully with iwi of the North to plan a shared strategy”.
Ngātiwai Trust Board supports Te Kahu o Taonui calling on the government to work with iwi before making decisions on opening our border.ENDS
Aperahama Kerepeti-Edwards Heamana (Chairman)
Te Poari O Ngātiwai
Phone: 09 430 0939