National | Alert Level 3

Iwi in the North ready to battle with Delta

Photo / File

Māori leaders in Te Taitokerau have once again sprung into action to set up border patrols following the Government's decision to move Northland into alert level 3.

A case that was under investigation, after returning a weak positive result from a test in Whangārei earlier this week, returned a positive test result in Auckland causing the Government to pull the trigger and lockdown Northland.

The new restrictions will remain in place until 11.59 pm Tuesday and will be reviewed at Cabinet on Monday. The woman has not given a reason for being in Te Tai Tokerau and has not been open about her movements.

The Taitokerau Border Control (TBC) reestablished its checkpoint late on Friday night after the Government's announcement and they have wasted no time in getting on with the job.

According to Rueben Taipari, spokesperson for the TBC, they knew level 3 was coming.

"We were already setting up the checkpoint even before the Prime Minister's announcement. We are quite adept at this job now."

The TBC have teamed up with local police to man the checkpoints, and Taipari says they are glad to have them on board.

"Our Kaitakawaenga Māori for the Police are here and it's about mahi tahi and working together to protect our whānau. We are here in the Far North, Ngāti Hine has their area in Waiomio and Ngāti Whātua are at the border in Te Hana, so we are pretty ready to maintain our position."

The North was hopeful of keeping Delta at bay for as long as possible but iwi are resigned to the fact that keeping Delta out of the North is no longer viable.

Hone Harawira posted on his Facebook page about that the inevitability of Delta in Northland.

"Don’t be surprised when Covid comes to Northland. It will be here any day. Prepare communities for the first case of Covid, then a few cases, then the first mortality. It’s just a matter of time,” he said.