Green co-leader backs iwi checkpoints to protect whakapapa

By Taroi Black

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson urges the continuation of iwi checkpoints in response to the UK virus variant, seen to be more deadly.

"I support iwi checkpoints to protect our whakapapa."

This morning Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the three new community cases in Auckland were the UK variant of the virus. 

While police are patrolling the Auckland borders for travellers in and out of the city, Davidson sees the importance of iwi "checkpoints to check if people are travelling for valid purposes and are being safe and are not unwell", she says. 

Auckland International Airport has also introduced travel document check-ups at the doors of both domestic and international terminals. This will assist them to manage people to follow the Ministry of Health guidelines, by social distancing in public spaces. 

Scientists first detected the UK virus variant known as B.1.1.7 in November. It is likely 30 to 70 per cent more transmissible than the virus already seen in New Zealand. 

"This is a really contagious strain in particular. If it were to get hold of our communities it would be really worrying."

Auckland iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei continues from where it left off last year during the global pandemic, closing its papakainga off from the public to ensure its whānau and the elderly are safe. 

Meanwhile, the Auckland-based Green MPs Davidson, Chlöe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman are to remain in Auckland for the next 72 hours.