Green Party supports iwi-led checkpoints

By Jessica Tyson

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson says the party supports iwi-led checkpoints and they play a crucial role in protecting communities most susceptible to the pandemic.

The government has received almost 8,000 applications for exemptions to enter or leave Auckland and more than 1,000 have been granted and, as a result former MP Hone Harawira has set up a traffic checkpoint at Waiomio, just south of Kawakawa this morning and is preparing to erect others in the region.

Bay of Plenty iwi Te Whānau-ā-Apanui is also urging non-essential travellers to avoid coming into its area and is not ruling out the establishment of checkpoints.

Davidson says the Māori response to the Covid-19 pandemic should be applauded.

“We know Māori living in rural communities are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 as a result of generations of underinvestment in health services to serve Māori communities, and a raft of social factors that have disadvantaged Māori whānau and have led to poor health outcomes.”

The Green Party also supports Māori working with police.

“We commend the police for working proactively with iwi and hapū to ensure these checkpoints are well-run, legal, and recognised for their important role,” she says.

 “This shows good faith on the part of the police, and we really encourage this co-operation.”

Davidson says the Green Party has an obligation to uphold Te Tiriti and support hapū initiatives to protect their people and regions.