18 Aug 2021

'Quite ashamed' of Coromandel Mayor comments - Councillor

2:22 pm on 18 August 2021

There's been considerable pushback over the Coromandel Mayor saying she had not been scanning in using the Covid-19 tracer app.

A person using the Covid Tracer app, QR code scanning

A person using the Covid Tracer app, QR code scanning Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie told Checkpoint last night she would not normally scan in when visiting locations.

She added the Covid-19 community case will "probably not" push her to scan any more either.

"It's very hit and miss for me," she said, saying she felt her credit card tracked her locations already.

Speaking to Morning Report today, Goudie clarified her remarks, noting that she didn't say she never scanned in but had become complacent about it, like many people.

"I think a lot of people have become complacent. It's a matter of just hunkering down again ... and doing all those things. Wearing the mask, keeping the 2-metre distance, doing the contact tracing, all of those things."

Gary Gotlieb, councillor for the South East Ward of the Thames-Coromandel District, told RNZ he strongly disapproved of the remarks.

"I was as a councillor quite shocked to hear those comments," he said.

"It's not leadership we need in this sort of situation we have. I've had so many people contact me about this as a councillor, and I'm quite ashamed she made those comments."

Gotlieb said he planned to bring the matter before the council.

Questioned about the effect her remarks on not frequently scanning in would have, Goudie said she hoped everyone would now follow precautions more strictly than they had been.

"We'll all be looking at our own behaviours and taking repsonsibility for it and doing the right thing."

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, is a rural, Iwi-based, not-for-profit health provider in the Hauraki rohe, and it's set up a number of swabbing centres across the Coromandel this morning.

The centre in Coromandel Town opened at 9am - and had about one hundred cars lined up at the Thames-Coromandel District carpark just after it opened.

Riana Manuel is chief executive of Te Korowai, she told Nine to Noon there was a lot of misinformation online but her message is clear and simple.

"There's a lot of misinformation, the first thing we need people to know is that the locations of interest are there (www.covid19.govt.nz), you can go and have a look at them. Our message is very clear if you have been at a location of interest, if you are symptomatic then we want to see you and get you swabbed as soon as possible.

"Until we get the results of those swabs back we just want people to self-isolate at home until they get a result," she said.

Manuel's team have swabbed well over 100 people over this morning and she's encouraging people to not all rush in at once as the centre will be open all day for the next couple of days at least.

She said everyone at the testing centre has been well-behaved and followed the government's covid-19 guidelines.

"They're helping us out by just being patient and staying in their cars, not getting out having a great social session and then heading off home."

With the covid-19 vaccine rollout set to get back underway tomorrow, Manuel said they had been doing around 150-200 vaccinations per day in Coromandel Town and she's hoping to increase the vaccination rate in the area, particularly in the Māori population.

"We're small areas so that's a significant number per day... we want to see more of our Māori whanau come in and get vaccinated and of course we want to get those age limits down so we can get as many people as possible through.

"We're certainly going to be advocating to get all of the population in the Coromandel township vaccinated as quickly as possible," she said.

Manuel encourages people to think of the frontline workers and follow all covid-19 guidelines so that their job doesn't have to be any harder than it has to be.

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