Shane Jones slams plans for iwi roadblocks in Te Tai Tokerau, says he 'won't be listening'

Shane Jones has hit out at iwi plans to set up roadblocks in the Far North to stop visitors over the summer period. 

Aucklanders are allowed to leave the city from December 15 if they are fully vaccinated or test negative. But iwi leaders in Te Tai Tokerau say unvaccinated visitors pose a threat to the community.

On Wednesday Hone Harawira told The AM Show Te Tai Tokerau Border Control is planning to set up roadblocks to stop unvaccinated people from visiting. 

"I think the reality is that Māori are worried - whanau are scared of what they see coming and they don't see anything good coming. They want to know that their people are going to be protected first and foremost.

"This is not just a call from Hone Harawira and the Border Control or from communities. This has now reached the level where it is a general call from all of the iwi and from all of the regional district health boards. This is huge. That's the level of concern that is being felt across the district.

"We are asking everybody - double vaxxed or please stay home… So the doors are still open and we want to try to make sure that if people are double vaccinated they are going to be welcomed into the territory." 

Harawira's comments were criticised by COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and ACT leader David Seymour. 

Former NZ First MP Shane Jones has joined the criticism, telling Magic Talk Northlanders need to take responsibility for their low vaccination rates. 

"Northland opens its arms to Aucklanders and other tourists, so they will open their wallets and help sustain our local economy - it's a pretty simple equation," Jones told Magic Talk. 

He said Aucklanders are the lifeblood of many communities in the north and stopping them would have a devastating impact. 

"Every time there is a threat of a roadblock, there's a sense of menace that deters people from coming north, and they might decide to go to Coromandel or god forbid, Hamilton." 

Northland has one of the country's lowest vaccination rates. Only 85 percent of locals have had one dose of the COVID vaccine and just 76 percent are fully vaccinated. The figures are worse for Māori Northlanders with just 77 percent having had one dose and 63 percent fully vaccinated. 

Jones told Magic Talk the low vaccination rates are the issue, not visitors. 

"People up here need to take responsibility, irrespective of their ethnicity, for their own health outcomes.

"If you don't want to get vaccinated and you get sick, why is it my problem? The rest of us followed the rules, we swallowed our pride, we compromised, we went and got vaccinated so that the economy could flourish, we could travel, we could reunite with our families and if there's a small group who wanna hold out then fine. Paddle your own waka, the rest of us want to get on with life." 

Jones said he "won't be listening to any roadblock" and urged police and the Government to put a stop to them.