Police closed an illegal Hape-led checkpoint in T. Araroa yesterday, but agreed to set up two permanent checkpoints that would monitor the movement of vehicles.
Matakaoa Covid-19 Response Group. Opened a community checkpoint. At 8 a.m. tomorrow at the intersection of State Highway 35 and Potho Road.
Police attended, spoke to those involved and closed it until 3 p.m.
A “compromise” was reached, with police agreeing to set up two static checkpoints in operation today – one at Okito, Venue, and the other at Verkahika / Hicks Bay.
Matakaoa Covid-19 Response Group is pleased that the checkpoints are finally in place and wants them to remain below Alert Levels 3 and 4.
Police say the checkpoints will be used to monitor the movement of vehicles, but they cannot indicate how long they will remain in place.
Area Police Commander Inspector Sam Abraham visited the community outpost yesterday, which he said was illegal under the Cove 19 Alert Level restrictions.
“There was no problem with the closure. They accepted and understood the reasons,” he said.
During these discussions, the police agreed to set up two static checkpoints.
“They want stable outposts since dot dot. We are going to put them to see how the movement is and who is moving around.
“We compromised yesterday to get a better picture.”
He said police would analyze the data to find out if the people they encountered were roaming the area or people coming from outside the area.
“At this stage, though, there is no evidence that many people are coming to the region for the wrong reasons. Went where they came from. “
The community is “excited” about the static checkpoints, said Anne Pahro-Hari Wai, a spokeswoman for the Matakova Covid 19 response.
“We did not want a community outpost to listen.
“We want a working, working, respectful relationship with the police.
“At the end of the day, for us, it’s about keeping our Wana safe and keeping the virus out of here.”
The Matakova Covid 19 Response Group claimed yesterday that mobile police checkpoints have not reduced traffic and that their communities were offered “less protection” during the outbreak of a more contagious delta type than the lockdown in 2020.
Community Katyaki (patron) will not join the police-led checkpoints, but Pahori Hori Wai said he hopes to continue discussions with the police.
“We want to commend the police who came here from Hawke’s Bay, they were amazing.
“We really appreciate the support we have received.”
The group encouraged all those who live far away to stay away at this time.
Acting Minister of Emergency Management Chris Fafui last week rejected a written request by 32 Ngati Puro Mari to declare a regional emergency and enforce static checkpoints along the coast.
The minister agreed with Tairāwhiti Emergency Management Controller David Wilson, who said the state of emergency was not necessary.
Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest report run in collaboration with RNZ, the News Publishers Association and NZ On Air.