Māori Party launches petition against more MIQ in Rotorua

3:33 pm on 29 August 2021

The Māori Party has launched a petition against any more Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities opening in Rotorua.

Rotorua city.

Rotorua city. Photo: 123rf

Covid-19 Response minister Chris Hipkins and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have confirmed the development of new MIQ facilities were being considered, including in Rotorua, despite opposition from the community.

However, Māori party co-leader Rawiri Waititi said it was inappropriate that the city was being considered, when the Lakes DHB had made it clear another facility in the city would put too much pressure on the healthcare sector.

Waititi feared a new facility would stretch healthcare staff and resources, and would mean Rotorua locals missed out on good healthcare

He said a new facility would bring greater risks for exposure to the disease, and use of a local hotel would mean the hospitality and tourism industry would take longer to get back on its feet.

Sudima Quarantine Hotel Rotorua.   15 July 2020  The Daily Post Photograph by Andrew Warner.
NAG 28Jul20

The Sudima Quarantine Hotel in Rotorua. Photo: LDR / Rotorua Daily Post

Waititi said it was time another region stepped up, such as Queenstown.

"40 percent of the Rotorua population is Māori. The negative impact of these Government decisions are significantly higher for Rotorua because our people are at greater risk of falling through all of the gaps.

"Te Arawa is renowned for their manaakitanga (hospitality); it is the bedrock behind their tourism success. They have done their bit and now their manaakitanga is being abused.

"Rotorua is now being unfairly targeted; Te Arawa Iwi and Rotorua locals, as the receiving communities ... are the key stakeholders in this debate and they must be listened to."

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