Hone Harawira via Getty
Hone Harawira via Getty

Lloyd Burr: Good intentions doesn’t give you the power to police the roads, and stop and check people.

Lloyd Burr 01/12/2021

OPINION: I’m feeling very uneasy about Hone Harawira and his crew planning to erect roadblocks around parts of Northland this summer.

And even more uneasy that police may even allow them to happen. Harawira says his group - which is dubbed Te Tai Tokerau Border Control - will set up checkpoints across the region to ensure those entering are double vaccinated.

While I applaud him championing the vaccine, I completely disagree with him taking the law into his own hands. I completely disagree with him blocking the freedom of New Zealanders to move around our country.

He is not a police officer.

And while he might like to think Northland is a separate country, it is not. He is not a border control officer. He has no legal right to do it.

Yes, Maori vaccination rates in Te Tai Tokerau are lagging, and you’re doing this with the best of intentions. But intent doesn’t trump the rights and freedoms afforded to us all. Intent doesn’t give you the power to police the roads, and stop and check people.

Can you imagine the uproar if it was the other way around, and a group of pakeha set up a roadblock to prevent unvaccinated Northlanders from leaving the region? That would be appalling. And illegal. And it’d be condemned from the high heavens as racist.

So please Hone, be reasonable. Don’t hijack this issue. Don’t politicise it. Don’t set up borders. Because it’ll fracture our country even more.

And that’s the last thing we all need now.

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