TODAY |

Hone Harawira slams Govt over possible new community Covid cases, confirms Northland checkpoints

Mana Movement leader and former Māori Party MP Hone Harawira has tonight slammed the Government's handling of two possible new Auckland community Covid-19 cases, as he confirmed Northland will resume checkpoints to try and keep the virus out.

Hone Harawira from Tai Tokerau Border Control. Source: rnz.co.nz

The Ministry of Health this evening announced the two possible cases are being investigated after positive tests.

However, Harawira says he knew about the cases, and their locations, earlier today and the Government should have released the information sooner.

"Earlier today we were informed that two more community cases had been identified in Orewa," Harawira says.

"The Minister of Health chose not to publicly notify at either of his 1pm or 4pm press briefings, but the Beehive eventually confirmed that the cases are genuine."

Your playlist will load after this ad

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay explains. Source: 1 NEWS

He says the Northland community case should have forced the Government to "up their game". In his eyes this hasn't happened, confirming the Tai Tokerau Border Control will once again be implementing checkpoints in the north as they first did back in March.

"Tens of thousands of people are due to swamp Northland over the three-day Auckland Anniversary Weekend, and yet neither the police, central Government or the health authorities have announced plans to support Tai Tokerau through this dangerous period.

"The Tai Tokerau Border Control is therefore moving ahead with its plans to establish checkpoints to protect kaumātua and kuia in the north and Māori people in general, who comprise some of the most at-risk groups to the latest virulent variant."

Dates and locations for the checkpoints have yet to be announced.

His comments come as the Ministry of Health confirmed to 1 NEWS the two new possible cases had both been staying at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel, the same managed isolation facility where the recent Northland community case stayed.

"The two former returnees both returned a positive test for Covid-19, however it is yet to be confirmed if they are recent or historic infections. Further urgent testing is being carried out this evening," the ministry says in a statement.

"The two people are asymptomatic and have already completed their managed isolation and previously returned two negative tests.

"As a precaution, public health staff are checking details with the individuals about their movements since they left managed isolation to identify close and casual contacts if contact tracing is required."

Both individuals are currently self-isolating at home.

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay gave more details on what will happen next.

"There’s every possibility that the results were weak positives, with a low dose of the infection or that it was a historic case, but they are wanting to be sure so are re-testing them.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Northland testing stations were inundated after the case was announced this week. All close contacts of the woman have now tested negative. Source: 1 NEWS

"I would expect that if authorities discover they are confirmed positive cases they will let us know immediately rather than waiting for tomorrow’s 1pm briefing."