Border checkpoints to be manned by army, Iwi, Maori Wardens and ‘community patrollers’

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The government’s covid-19 legislation was increased (covid-19 Public Health Response Amendment Act (No 2) 2021) on Friday 19 November to enable members of the public and armed forces to man border checkpoints – replacing the police.

Maori Wardens, members of Iwi organisations, Pasifika Wardens and so-called ‘community patrollers’ now have the power to stop vehicles at roadblocks and checkpoints under instruction from the police.

The update to the covid-19 act was rushed through parliament Friday afternoon.

A briefing document on the updated act says: “Police only operate roadblocks and checkpoints at higher Alert Levels where movement is restricted. The amendment will mean that if a restricted movement Order is in place that requires or permits checkpoints or roadblocks to be set up in your area, in addition to a Police constable, it will now be possible for an enforcement officer to direct you to stop your vehicle.

“If the enforcement officer stops you, they will be required to show you their identification. They may also discuss with you the purpose of your travel, do an initial review of exemption documentation, or direct your movement to manage traffic.

“Police will retain decision making powers and enforcement officers will be acting under the direction and supervision of a constable at all times.”

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