Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu held a zoom hui tonight (Wednesday 27th January 2021) with 10 of the 15 Ngāti Kahu Marae and agreed on the following:
1. We support and uphold the authority and power of our Hapū and Marae to self-determination and self-government.
We note that Government sets its Levels based on minimum universal standards rather than the specific and local needs of Hapū.
As self-governing and sovereign polities, it is up to each Marae to determine its own Alert Level status by taking into account the circumstances and needs of their whanau and Hapū and then acting accordingly.
2. We support the recommendations of Dr Rawiri Taonui that the government strengthen its border controls and strengthen community preparedness.
The rapidly mutating and more virulent strains of COVID hitting our shores and wreaking havoc across the world were predicted by Dr Taonui who is constantly monitoring and analysing international and domestic data.
His warnings in July 2020 of an August spike proved accurate as has his prediction earlier this month of another round of community cases before the end of the month.
Therefore, we take his recommendations on how to stay ahead of the curve very seriously. We urge the Government to do the same.
3. We support and encourage our whanau, Hapū and Marae to continue practicing:
a. Social distancing
b. Strict handwashing and sanitising
c. Staying home if unwell
d. Working from home as much as possible
e. Scanning into every place we go
f. Turning on our blue tooth whenever we are out
g. Mask wearing in all public places
h. Closing premises and working from home or online as appropriate
i. Phoning, emailing or meeting online whenever possible, rather than physically gathering.
4. We will work with NRC to address the water shortages on Karikari Peninsula which is experiencing sustained drought conditions.
Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), everyone has the right to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use. We will pursue that right for our people.
5. We support border control measures and checkpoints set up by Taitokerau Border Control and urge Government to mandate the Police to support and protect checkpoint personnel from attacks by ignorant, entitled and often racist travelers.
We do not have confidence that the current border control measures announced by Government are sufficient to protect our populations from the ongoing pandemic.
We are also very concerned at the large volumes of travelers that continue to pour into our rohe with little or no sign of social distancing, sanitising, etc.
Therefore, we support the checkpoint system which is set up to inform and educate travelers on the higher risks and vulnerabilities of our people to COVID.
6. We urge DoC and FNDC to close all campgrounds in the rohe.
The campgrounds at Maitai Bay and other campsites in our rohe continue to overflow with campers who do not practice social distancing, etc. Additionally, there are a number of freedom campers blatantly breaking the law at Pūwheke, Ramp Rd, Tokerau, Taipā and other sites.
We expect both DoC and FNDC, along with the Police, to monitor and penalize these lawbreakers.
7. We ask all non-residents not to travel int o or pass through our rohe unless on essential business.
If non-residents must travel into or through our rohe, we expect them to respect and stop at any Border Control checkpoints.
CONCLUSION: Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu must and will support as best we can all measures designed to stay ahead of the curve and to address the higher risks posed to our people by COVID. We hope and expect that our treaty partner will do likewise.
KO TE AMORANGI KI MUA, KO TE HĀPAI Ō KI MURI