Northland communities prepare checkpoints for midnight level drop

By Mare Haimona-Riki

The prime minister has confirmed that Northland will move to alert level 3 at midnight tonight as planned.

Northland Border Control regional coordinator Reuben Taipari says there will be checkpoints all over Northland and they will turn people around if there is any hint of risk to their communities.

“Wherever they go, they are going to run into checkpoints.

“It’s about assessing the situation and, if the people in those vehicles have no consideration, then yes, we are going to have that conversation with them,” he says.  

Te Ao Tapatahi spoke to Taipari before the announcement was made, and he made it very clear that the communities in the Northland did not want to drop levels tonight.

“We’re saying let's stay in with Auckland together and get out of it together.”

Taipari stresses that the reason Northland communities are especially cautious about people entering their borders is that he feels they are more at risk of contracting the virus.

“Our health issues are the worst in the country.”

With Māori vaccination rates roughly four times less in the Northland than the rest of the population, Taipari adds that they are being extra vigilant

“Ngāpuhi in Te Taikoerau, we’re at the highest level of issues around housing, around employment, and all of those social issues.”

The decision to drop to Alert level 3 in the Northland will be reviewed next Monday.  

Checkpoints:

The checkpoints will be at SH1 and Mangawhai Road, Mangawhai Road and north of Cole Hill Road, Black Swamp west of Rakau Road, and Mangawhai Road and Kings Road, and Mangawhai Road and Ryan Road.