Te Pāti Māori today met with the Māori King Tūheitia and Māori leaders across the motu to agree on a unified approach to ensure the survival of Māori as the reality of COVID hitting our communities is imminent.

“We are now in survival mode and we are calling on the Government to move Auckland into Level 4 and the rest of the North Island into Level 3 immediately until Māori are 95% vaccinated. Failure to do so is committing our people to death by COVID” says te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

“The Government are too noisy. They need to get out of the road and resource localised, whānau-led responses and they also need to resource our messengers and our messages.

“The reality is that the Government has failed to deliver to Māori. They have failed to uphold their responsibility to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. And now we are on the brink of a catastrophe that none of us are prepared or resourced for simply because they won’t hand over power” says Mr Waititi.

“At every stage of this pandemic, the Government has ignored the advice of our Maori experts. They have left us out to dry. Their elimination strategy only focuses on the general population. Their vaccination strategy only focuses on the general population. None of which commits to the survival of the indigenous people of this country” says co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

“Maori are now presenting over half of daily cases. We need to be placed back into a level that will break the circuit of this outbreak for Māori.

“If the Government is prepared to open the borders as soon as our country is 90% vaccinated, they are willingly holding Māori up to be the sacrificial lambs. It is a modern form genocide” says Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.

“How many Māori deaths are the crown prepared to live with? One is too many for us” says Rawiri Waititi.