Regional | Gisborne

Prime Minister refuses to send personnel and resources to Tairawhiti

NZ troops return from Iraq yet the Prime Minister refuses to send NZ Defense Force personnel and resources to Tairāwhiti. The Gisborne mayor asks for more manpower to save lives and to ensure that whānau stay home.

The PM says that there are enough police to handle the task at hand.

Gisborne District Council Mayor Rehette Stoltz sent a letter which was supported by Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou. Te Rūnanganui Chair Selwyn Parata asked PM Jacinda Ardern to have an urgent deployment of NZDF as police are at full stretch to curtail non-essential travel and other behaviours.

“Our police are doing an awesome job.

"But they’re already flat-out doing day to day business as usual work and if we do want to do a bit more we will need the man power,” Stoltz says.

Local police on the frontline have restructured their work force in order to have relief teams out on the beat including detectives.

Checkpoints that have been setup particularly throughout the Ngāti Porou rohe are still seeing non-essential travelers arriving to small communities to self-isolate.

The growing concern among the haukainga is due to the limited access to health and welfare services right across the coast. Stoltz explained to PM she needs NZDFs' practical assistance in order to manage her communities through the current state of emergency.

“There are absolutely still people from out of region but if all of us stay home those people that should not be travelling in our region will stand out clearly to police.”

Intelligence have already indicated rising crime as a direct result of the COVID-19 shutdown.

Across the country, more than 200 reports of people failing to comply with the Government's order to self-isolate has led to three arrests nationwide.

In Parliament, Commissioner of New Zealand Police Mike Bush confirmed that two of the three people arrested had since been released from custody without charges.

“They’ve been previously warned about their behavior and decided they wouldn’t oblige, so we obliged for them,” Bush says.

Local Tairawhiti Inspector Sam Aperahama told Te Ao News no one in the region has been detained in regards to COVID-19, however, had some arrests about other behaviors.

“A lot reduced from the norm but some arrests for people of some other offences.”