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Ed Sheeran

Collins keen on Harawira checkpoints

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National Party leader Judith Collins has spoken up for Hone Harawira’s roadside checkpoints.

Last year National was highly critical of the roadside information stops set up by the former Te Taitokerau MP.

During last months’s Northland COVID scare he staged a repeat performance, but his Kawakawa checkpoint was quickly shut down by police.

Ms Collins says such community checkpoints are OK as long as police are involved.

She says her former colleague’s actions are an understandable response to the way the Government is handling the pandemic.

"He's always good at attracting attention and doing the odd but of grandstanding but I felt it was a very genuine concern that spoke of the lack of confidence that northern iwi were going to be properly protected against COVID-19," Ms Collins says.

Meanwhile, Taitokerau Border Control says a checkpoint run by police at just north of the supercity border was a vast improvement from last year's checkpoints at Te Hana.

It says the interview process has improved and the checkpoint commander was open about the processes in place.

But spokesperson Hone Harawira says it was concerned at the age and health of the Ngāti Whātua Māori wardens working alongside the police, and said they need better personal protective equipment.

The checkpoint has been taken down with the drop in Auckland’s alert status to level two.

Mr Harawira says the checkpoint and the Auckland lockdown should have continued until next Monday or until the original source of the Papatoetoe outbreak was detected.

There were no new community cases reported today, and all 31 close contacts from Papatoetoe High School have tested negative - besides the student who tested positive yesterday.

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