18 Nov 2021

Covid-19: Te Pāti Māori wants 'Rāhui' approach to mandates

From Morning Report, 8:09 am on 18 November 2021

Te Pāti Māori has taken issue with the way the government is approaching vaccine mandates.

Its Covid-19 response policy calls for the government mandates to be scrapped for everyone except frontline health workers.

Co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says it's the way those mandates have been set that they're opposed to.

Te Pāti Māori wants whānau, hapū, iwi, businesses and communitites to be able to set their own rules.

"We want the government's approach of mandates gone, and in fact, the community, iwe sector mandate rāhui approach applied."

She said it was her belief that the government had not properly engaged Māori in its pandemic response.

The party's policy still has the requirement for front-line health workers to be vaccinated, as people don't get a choice about who they deal with there.

"We know that there is the ability to be able to be informed and actually ring up and ask, for example you get to choose dentists, you get to choose physiotherapists, you don't get to choose emergency and a whole lot of other health systems. These are things that you can actually go about and do properly.

"The other side of it is that marae and hapū, when we have drownings, when we have pollution, we've applied rahui, for hundreds of years."