"Stay home! Noho ki te kainga!" - Ruatōria roadblock personnel

By Bronson Perich

Ruatōria locals have set up a checkpoint to protect their township from COVID-19. Tui Warmenhoven, one of the checkpoint volunteers is urging people to stay home.

"Please! Come and get your provisions once a week! Shop wisely!" Tui Warmenhoven says.

Warmenhoven says that the local food store is under strain at the moment. She is calling on those that must travel into the town should do so alone. She is also asking non-residents to turn back and stay out of the region.

The community checkpoint was setup to log all traffic going in and out of the town. If COVID-19 does come to Ruatōria, then they will have the information needed to help police and hauora authorities track the outbreak.

Warmenhoven recognised that people from the surrounding villages come to Ruatōria to purchase supplies. The team welcomes these visitors as Ruatōria is the only place where they can do so. Again, Warmenhoven hopes that they would only come in when it is absolutely necessary.

Her final message is simple:

"Stay home! Noho ki te kainga!"