With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Raglan and Waikato, Te Pāti Māori Co-Leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie
Ngārewa-Packer are calling for Iwi, Hapū and Māori organisations to mobilise themselves immediately to develop their own
outbreak and vaccination contingency plans.
“Te Roopu Whakakaupapa Uruta two weeks ago, urged the Government to remain at Level 4. They did not listen and here we
are” says Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“The Government continues to ignore the advice of the only Māori health expert group that makes up 30 of the most
experienced Māori Doctors in Aotearoa. If 30 Māori doctors are being ignored and without any sign of a Māori Covid
Response Plan, we have no choice but to take matters into our own hands.
“We are urging Iwi and Hapū to pull together and develop their own plans and strategies as a first line of defence,
particularly for how they manage tangihanga” says Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.
“We must be proactive about our own bottom lines. Covid coming our way is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of
“We must also ensure that Māori organisations caring for our people in urban areas have unfettered access to data that
is currently being withheld from them, so they can target the areas that need support the most” says Ngarewa-Packer.
“We’ve been fighting hard for historical grievances and now is the time to fight for our future.
“The Government has failed us time and time again, even in the midst of this COVID outbreak” says co-leader Rawiri
“We must have multiple strategies in place. We cannot afford to sit around and wait for the Government to come up with a
plan for Māori – we’ve been waiting too long. Our vaccination rates are far too low and we are now making up the highest
population with positive cases of Delta” says Mr Waititi.
“Urgency is now required more than ever. We are sitting in the eye of the storm and Māori we are sitting right in its
“It is absolutely imperative that we take the lead again and take control of our own future, like we did in the
beginning when Iwi chose to close their borders. Aotearoa maranga ake ai” says Mr Waititi.