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Waikato woman unable to grieve "nearest & dearest" with loved ones due to border restrictions

Lloyd Burr 08/11/2021

LISTEN: A Waikato woman has begged and pleaded with the government to allow her a travel exemption to visit family and friends in Northland after her  "nearest & dearest" passed away in August, five days into level 4 lockdown.

After sending multiple emails, letters, and doing just about anything she can to try make contact with those in charge of making these decisions, her woes have fallen on deaf ears after her travel situation has been deemed 'not urgent' enough to allow for an exemption.

In an email to Magic Talk, she wrote...

Hi Team

This is my story:

My nearest & dearest passed away in August, five days into L4 lockdown.

I had relocated from Northland to Waikato to care for him through his illness.

When his body was uplifted by funeral directors I was then left to endure grief in my solitary bubble & have done ever since.

There has been no funeral - no farewells - his body cremated without anybody, neither myself or his children in attendance.

All my connections, friends & family are north of the border in Auckland & Northland. To date I have not seen a single person I know since that day of death.

I applied on a few occasions for a travel exemption to cross the border when Waikato went to L3 & again at L2, so I could bubble share with someone also living alone. I also emailed Dr Ashley Bloomfield direct explaining my circumstances were exceptional.

All of my attempts, including an application to travel direct from L2 Waikato to L2 Northland through Auckland without stopping, have been denied.

As time goes on the restrictions have got tighter with the bouncing around of alert levels.

I cannot put into words how my isolation & alienation from a familiar face is affecting me, no shoulder to cry on, no-one to comfort me. 

I can't get to my loved ones nor can they get to me. It's NOT ok.

The thought of Xmas raises the constant adrenalin in my gut that is my everyday  I've given up.

Under the circumstances I'm dealing with & out of respect for family, I prefer to remain anonymous if you choose to air my story. (I'm 64)

Since we received this email, Lloyd Burr spoke to her on air Monday afternoon to get more of her story to try and understand how it is possible that the government is refusing to make an exception for her.

Listen to the full conversation above and catch Lloyd Burr Live every weekday from 4pm on Magic Talk.

Where to find help and support: 

  • Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633

  • Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)

  • Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

  • What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)

  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666

  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

  • Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584

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