There is not the slightest justification for tribes asserting that they have closed roads to protect their people against the Covid-19 scare, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.
In a grandstanding announcement, former Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira said he would set up ''medical checkpoints'' at the main entry points to the Far North to halt the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Earlier, Tina Ngata, who helped organise the anti-Cook ship visit petition, said a checkpoint was to be set up at Hicks Bay to dissuade non-essential travel into the Tairawhiti region.
“We’re entering exceedingly dangerous territory when some people in the name of Maori are allowed to decide who can travel on state highways, as is happening currently in both Northland and eastern Bay of Plenty,” Dr Brash said.
"All New Zealanders have the right to deny other people the right to enter their private property, but no New Zealanders should have the right to deny access to taxpayer-funded roads or other public property,” he said.
“We saw this happen after the White Island tragedy, when a tribe took things into their own hands and decided to block off access to part of the Whakatane water-front. The Police stood by and did nothing,” Dr Brash said.
“This nonsense has clearly gone on for far too long. There is only one Government in New Zealand, and it is the responsibility of the Police to ensure that the law of the land is upheld, irrespective of whom the law-breaker is,” he said.
“Bear in mind, soon we will be under the level-four restriction so people should not be out on the streets confronting traffic when we’re all supposed to be in lock-down,” Dr Brash said.
Don Brash 021 420 144