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So far, so good at checkpoints

The roadside checkpoint team at Wharekahika/Hicks Bay had just set up when a campervan driver in his 70s stopped to say he wanted to buy some beers and visit the beach.

Because Covid-19 has the potential to have a devastating impact on East Coast Maori communities, checkpoints were set up to ask travellers heading out of Gisborne to take an alternative route.

Checkpoint co-organiser Tina Ngata explained to the driver the checkpoints were in place because the risk of fatal infection spreading among East Coast Maori particularly was high.

“He said ‘I want to get some beers at the store'. I said we'd prefer you didn't come into our community at this time.”

The man was gracious enough to take heed of the community's concerns and turned back, says Ms Ngata.

“We're also thankful for the support we've been getting from the police and the district council.”

The roadside checkpoint team had a health and safety plan, support from NZ Police Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha and a traffic management plan created with the cooperation of the Gisborne District Council.

The checkpoints continued today.