LISTEN: More than a week after Aotearoa moved to Alert Level 4, police have finally established fixed checkpoints at Northland's entrances despite telling Northland iwi they had it "under control."
When the government announced at 6pm Tuesday 17th August that New Zealand would be entering a strict lockdown, a flood of vehicles had already started to congest on roads into the region.
Tai Tokerau Border Control coordinator Hone Harawira had called for the roads to be shut as Maori in his community are vulnerable to COVID-19, particularly the elderly.
"The police said they had it under control, that we didn't need to go out, they had it covered - and they didn't. They just let them all in," Harawira told Magic Talk.
Previous national and Auckland lockdowns forced Northland iwi leaders to form the Tai Tokerau Border Control.
But after assurances from police, they "foolishly" held off from forming their own roadblocks this time, Harawira said.
"We should have gone. We shouldn't have listened, we should have just gone and closed it off," he told Magic Talk.
A heat map of close contacts countrywide shows a very concentrated spot in Northland.
"I'm telling everybody up here to operate on the basis that [COVID-19] is here," Harawira said.
Listen to the full interview with Hone Harawira above.