Protect at-risk communities as borders open

Border changes announced today underscores the need for the Government to step-up protections for the most at-risk communities.

“Our pandemic story is one of collective action, of coming together for the good of everyone, of manaakitanga,” says Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, COVID-19 Response spokesperson.

“Thousands of border workers, workers in MIQ, and our health staff have put it all on the line to keep us safe for the last two years, and we thank them for that.

“As the focus shifts to self-care of COVID at home, the Government must urgently step up protections for our most at-risk communities, especially for young Māori, Pasifika, disabled and immunocompromised people.

“The Government must make N95 masks, or equivalent, free and easily accessible, and ensure community health providers have the resources to get masks to those who need them most.

“The Government must also resource local Māori, Pasifika and community health providers and community organisations to support those in self-isolation at home, to visit and ensure their safety and well-being, and provide vaccinations and testing as required.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Green Party has been clear that MIQ should have enough capacity to enable people to return home, and migrant families to be reunited. However, the risk is no longer at the border, so we need strong protections and support within our community, with people coming home following the same rules as the rest of the country.

“Today’s announcement will come as a relief to many of our loved ones overseas and we acknowledge those who have represented their voices such as Grounded Kiwis.”

ENDS

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