Māori truck driver calls for tighter travel restrictions on roads under alert levels

By Tamati Tiananga

A truck driver and business contractor with more than 30 years' experience is calling for tighter restrictions for essential workers travelling between regions.

Eru Whare said, “I'm just dumbfounded, the traffic was just flowing and I don't know why there aren't any cases in the Waikato."

He said many people are breaking the alert level rules, and this needs to stop. 

“I was talking to the cop that was heading into Remutaka and he was saying that. The police said most don't have the verification to allow them to go into these certain areas.”

Wellington Police have noticed a significant increase in traffic across the region since the move to alert level 3 at 11.59pm on 31 August.

Motorists can expect to be stopped and questioned about the purpose of their travel, and they will be turned around if their travel is not permitted under the alert level.  
 
“We’ve been really pleased with compliance as a whole in Wellington District, since we went into Alert Level 4 in August,” said District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell.

The government has introduced a requirement for all essential workers travelling between regions to have a Covid-19 test within the next few days to minimise the risk of transmission between regions.

“You hear the boys talk about it [vaccination] all the time on the CB [radio] and we also have a chat as well. And then level 3 kicks in, and the police are starting to tighten up the levels,” said Whare.

Whare has received his first vaccination dose and is booked in to get his second next week.

“I've had discussions with drivers around vaccination. I just said, if you do it or not that's going to have a huge impact.”   

For now, Whare will remain in his own bubble when he travels. That means no interaction with the public, he has even gone the extra mile to make his own kai at the local Petone beach.

“Down here people are just walking freely. A lot of people are out here exercising,” said Whare.