Covid 19 Delta outbreak: PM returns to Auckland, iwi want only fully vaccinated people allowed into Northland

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Covid 19 Delta outbreak: PM returns to Auckland, iwi want only fully vaccinated people allowed into Northland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is returning to Auckland today on another whistle-stop visit amid concerns about roadblocks stopping unvaccinated people from visiting Northland.

Ardern is in Auckland today for the third time since the lockdown began to meet healthcare workers, hospitality businesses and community care workers.

She is also expected to announce a new support package for the region during her visit.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: PM returns to Auckland, iwi want only fully vaccinated people allowed into Northland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during her visiting visit to the Kirikiriroa Marae in Hamilton yesterday. Photo / Mike Scott

The visit comes as there are growing calls from Northland iwi for the Prime Minister to change the rules so only double -vaccinated people are allowed into the region until its vaccinated population hits 90 per cent for both Maori and non-Maori.

Te Tai Tokerau Border Control founder Hone Harawira said they only wanted fully vaccinated people to be allowed in Northland until 90 per cent of both the general and Maori population were fully vaccinated.

They had reached a level where there was now a general call from all of the iwi and all of the local district health boards for this, he said.

“This is huge, this is the level of concern across the district, he told The AM Show.

“It has come to a point where we ask everybody who isn’t double vaxxed to stay home.”

Those who were double vaxxed were still welcome, he said.

Harawira said they were wanting to work with police as much as possible, but they intended for there to be roadblocks checking people’s vaccination status.

“I just think the Prime Minister needs to clarify this thing. Double vaxxed or a test that’s recipe for disaster.”

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: PM returns to Auckland, iwi want only fully vaccinated people allowed into Northland

National leader Christopher Luxon said the border issue between Northland and Auckland needed to be resolved. Photo / Mark Mitchell

National leader Christopher Luxon said Northland Iwi threatening to cut the district off over summer was “nuts”.

“It’s really not acceptable … you’ve got tourism and hospitality businesses that have done everything right. They’re probably very safe and everyone is in good shape. We need that to be resolved and you can’t have that situation for summer”.

He told Newstalk ZB that the situation was symptomatic of what was going on in New Zealand at the moment, “everything is just dreamt up on the fly”.

But Ardern told Radio Hauraki they are “not to stop people from being able to go where they are able and entitled to go”.

The rigorousness of the border would be up to police as people travelling need to be double vaxxed or have a test within 72 hours of travelling.

“It’s actually up to the police and how they ensure compliance … there’s certain places it’s better to put up checks than others and there may be extra support.”

Scramble for summer flights

Meanwhile, the national airline is also gearing up for a busy summer.

Air NZ chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said the airline would be carrying 300,000 people around the country between December 15 and 31.

Air NZ expected December 15 – the day Auckland’s border lifted – to be a busy day and there would be about 15,000 customers travelling across its network and about 9000 customers travelling in and out of Auckland.

Geraghty told The AM Show people should allow “ample time” before a flight especially with the airline’s vaccine passport requirement, but there were things people could do at home to expedite the process through the airport such as downloading the Air NZ app and uploading the vaccine pass.

Air New Zealand hoped it would have the technology allowing people to upload their vaccines passes ready by December 8.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: PM returns to Auckland, iwi want only fully vaccinated people allowed into Northland

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