21 Apr 2020

Covid-19 lockdown: North Island iwi urges whānau to stick to level 4

7:24 pm on 21 April 2020

An iwi collective from the lower North Island has called for people to remain in the mindset of level 4 even after the country moves to level 3.

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Te Ranga Tupua spokesperson Gerrard Albert Photo: RNZ / Leigh McLachlan

New Zealand is set to move to alert level 3 on Tuesday morning but Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective, made up of 10 iwi across the Whānganui, Manawatū, Rangitīkei and South Taranaki regions, said this did not mean there was less risk.

Te Ranga Tupua spokesperson Gerrard Albert said the change to level 3 was a one-size-fits-all policy that did not take into account the impact on vulnerable Māori and Pasifika communities.

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"A change in alert status doesn't make our people less vulnerable to the ravages of Covid-19, especially our kaumātua, so we are continuing to view the threat as seriously as we have from the start."

The iwi collective would continue to support road closures on Kaiwhaiki and River Road, the latter which is predominantely made up of whānau Māori.

"Regardless of the government's Level 3 announcement, people must stay home unless they absolutely have to leave their bubble to access essential services - the risk to our whānau remains," Albert said.

There are eight confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the Whānganui District Health Board region.

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