After building up a successful relationship with NZ Police over the last few lockdowns working side by side on checkpoints, Ngāti Whātua say their contribution and expertise have been ignored.
“We are disappointed to be cut out of the conversation (re checkpoints) and left in the dark, despite regular meetings with top NZ Police and Crown officials,” Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua chief operating officer Antony Thompson says.
“We bring valuable expertise and experience to safely managing checkpoints which have the potential to be points of conflict.”
Mr Thompson says Ngāti Whātua believe the border between Northland and Auckland should have been set up when the lockdown was put in place regardless of Covid-19 levels, to protect vulnerable Northland communities while vaccination is still relatively low across Aotearoa.
Ngāti Whātua found out late Tuesday night from media and other sources that checkpoints would be stood up in its rohe.
There was no prior notice from the Crown, its executive or its leadership despite being a part in a number of communication groups involved with coordination efforts for the current lockdown.
“Sadly, this lack of Crown collaboration is no longer a surprise, but it is still disappointing,” Mr Thompson says.