Hikoi stopped at Auckland border by police

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By Charles Coles

Hundreds of cars in a hīkoi hoping to cross into Northland spent the night parked up at the Mercer checkpoint after police refused to let them through Auckland’s southern border.

Police issued a statement Tuesday evening saying it was aware of a planned hīkoi intending to travel from Rotorua to Northland early on Wednesday.

The statement said police are: “Strongly advising those who intend to take part in this that any travel across the Auckland boundary that is not specifically permitted by the Health order requires an exemption.

“Police have been planning around this hīkoi and we are monitoring the situation. As a result, there will be an increased policing presence at the Auckland boundary.”

Still, cars and buses arrived and once parked up, having not been able to continue their journey, an impromptu gathering took place at around 2am Wednesday morning where speeches were made and broadcast live on Facebook by the Sovereign Hīkoi of Truth group.

The NZ Herald, a government-funded publication, reported one of those taking part as saying they’re not moving, “the only way they’re going is north”.

Meanwhile, Tai Tokerau Border Control founder Hone Harawira described the hīkoi as ”a scam” organised by Pakehā anti-vaxers. A comment that was challenged by members of the hikoi.

The Herald also reports that SHOT consists of 12,000 “like-hearted souls”, who wanted to gather “in the name of freedom” in Waitangi.

Police say there are likely to be road closures put in place if those involved in the hīkoi attempt to “unlawfully cross the Auckland boundary”.

Video link.

In later reports via the group’s Facebook page, posters claimed their phones and live feed videos were being blocked.

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