Covid-19 community checkpoint in Northland shut down

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Police have shut down a community checkpoint in Waiomio in Northland citing traffic safety concerns.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The checkpoint was one of three set up this morning in the Far North.

With holidaymakers expected to head to the district for Auckland Anniversary weekend a spokesman, Hone Harawira, said earlier the aim was to give visitors Covid-19 information.

Two new cases of Covid-19 in Auckland are the South African coronavirus variant, and initial results show they are connected to the Northland case. All three people went through managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland and tested positive after leaving the facility.

“Our aim is not to stop and turn anybody around. This is not what this exercise is about,” Harawira said earlier at the checkpoint at Waiomio, just south of Kawakawa

“Our job is to re-establish checkpoints to protect our people from Covid-19 and this new variant, the South African strain.

“This will enable us to provide a strong visible public presence, provide information on where to get help.”

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Harawira said tens of thousands of people usually travelled to the district on Auckland Anniversary weekend and Te Tai Tokerau people were worried.

“You can imagine just how scared we are up here, with a scarcity of health resources barely enough to look after the current population.

“We would appreciate if people thought twice about coming and possibly stayed home.

“But our job today and tomorrow and over the weekend is not to turn anybody back.”

He said pamphlets would be handed out with information on Northland testing centre locations and hotlines to call if needed.

John Carter

Far North Mayor John Carter Photo: SUPPLIED

Far North Mayor John Carter backed the community run effort to give information on Covid-19 information.

He said they were working with authorities on a legal structure.

“What we’re looking to do here is to set up information centres to help people on what they need to be doing while they’re travelling though our district. We welcome them but we want them to be safe for their sake and for our sake.

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“I congratulate the community iwi on the initiative they’re taking to try and keep people well informed to remind them not to be complacent, to have information so that if they know what to be safe, wash your hands, all those things.

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