Man charged over Auckland hīkoi caught Covid-19

By Taroi Black

An anti-lockdown protestor charged for not complying with Covid-19 rules in Tāmaki Makaurau has tested positive for Coivd-19.

Paul Thompson, 57, who lives in Papatoetoe was part of a hīkoi with 5000 others for ‘freedom’ during the Alert level 3 restrictions. Thompson is a member of Destiny Church. He has been charged with failing to observe the Covid-19 Public Health Response Order by attending the gathering.

Stuff reports that Thompson has since tested positive for Delta.

Meanwhile, anti-vax activists plan to protest in front of Parliament in Wellington tomorrow at 10:30am. Tight security is likely, with disruptions possible.

A pleasing result for Aucklanders came as all three local district health boards reached their targets of 90 per cent for Covid-19 vaccinations first doses, which is a key milestone on the path to Auckland opening up.

Despite yesterday’s announcement by the government that all Auckland DHBs have crossed 90 per cent of first doses, Whānau Ora Community Centre in Takaānini, Counties Manukau isn’t impressed with its numbers.

49,000 to go

For the past five months, site manager Otolose Leaaemanu has only seen 20,000 people come through to their first or second dose.

“Numbers each week have gone down, so it's just a matter of us trying to get up there and reaching those whānau.”

Fewer Covid-19 restrictions will be in place in Auckland under a new traffic light system as more people are vaccinated but Counties Manukau DHB still has up to 49,000 people to vaccinate.

Over the weekend, Māori and Pasifika providers ramped up the vaccine programme by running family events that opened up Eden Park rugby stadium as a pop-up vaccination clinic for the day.

“It's a huge achievement that we have 90 percent for first doses. It gives us a good sense that we could get back to some type of new normality.” 

Once every Auckland DHB reaches 90 per cent double-dose threshold the city will move to the 'Red' traffic light.

At that point hospitality venues and gatherings can have up to 100 people who are fully vaccinated.

“We all want to spend Christmas with our whānau and loved ones,” Leaaemanu says.