“While Hone Harawira abuses police officers doing their job, the Police Minister has turned her out of office on”, says ACT Police spokesperson and former police officer Chris Baillie.

“Imagine this scenario. You’re a young police officer keen to help your community. Instead of stopping burglaries, you’re sent to hand out fines to holidaymakers. Then you get called racist by Hone Harawira because your superiors want to make sure there’s no gang members on the checkpoints.

“As a former cop, I know most frontline officers would much rather be preventing crime in their communities than running a Covid-19 checkpoint at Christmas.

“The Government has put frontline officers in a position where they’re being abused for doing a job they don’t want to.

“Where’s the Police Minister? Poto Williams should be standing up for police officers. Instead, she’s turned her out of office on and gone on holiday.

“The Government has emboldened Hone Harawira by allowing him and his mates to run checkpoints.

“He’s also been emboldened by some voices at Police National Headquarters claiming there is systemic racism in the police – that’s nonsense.

“Hone Harawira doesn’t speak for New Zealanders and has no right to stop our freedom of movement.

“New Zealanders rejected Harawira when he tried to get back into Parliament. He has no mandate, he doesn’t speak for New Zealanders, he doesn’t even speak for Te Tai Tokerau, he should follow the law like everyone else.

“Whether Harawira likes it or not, the Government makes the laws, not him. Tourism businesses up north have been through enough without him standing in their way.

“The Police and the Government should have taken a clear stand against Hone’s roadblocks and told him and his mates to go home.

“If Harawira wants to help his community, he should be out encouraging people to get vaccinated, not restricting other people from moving around their own country.”

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