The Māori Party is calling for all Māori to move into level 4 now and for the borders to be completely shut, including to returning New Zealanders, for two weeks.

The party's co-leader, John Tamihere, also said this morning that iwi checkpoints will be back in operation around the country, whether or not the whole country goes back into level 4.

Tamihere also called on the election – at the moment scheduled for September 19 – to be pushed back until next year.

"We do want to be part of the team of five million – but we can't be moved by the words of one party in an election process," he said in an apparent reference to Labour.


Its leader, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, is currently in the process of deciding if the election should be pushed back.

She will make her decision by Monday, she told reporters this week.

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Tamihere, as well as fellow co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and other Māori Party candidates, appeared on a Facebook live session this morning.

The party is campaigning to get back into Parliament, after not winning enough votes to return in the 2017 election.

Ngarewa-Packer said Covid-19 was "coming and it is coming for us, as Māori".

"We are demanding that we [Māori] go into level 4," she said.

The Māori Party leadership said Ardern should have made this move on Tuesday night, when she announced Auckland was going into level 3.


"We cannot allow returning Kiwis home – including our whānau – until health officials get on top of this community outbreak," Tamihere said.

Only then, Tamihere said, can New Zealand be non-challenging and trusting of the present leadership of the country.

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"When you are in election mode, you must question, challenge and be suspicious and at times oppositional."

Tamihere did not detail the process in which only Māori would go into level 4 lockdown.
But Ngarewa-Packer said it would be Māori who would be the most vulnerable to a second wave of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

"It is coming for our whānau," she told the Facebook livestream.

During the last nationwide lockdown, iwi checkpoints came under fire from some MPs.


Then National leader Simon Bridges, called the checkpoints "illegal" and questioned whether they should be operating at all.

Asked about iwi roadblocks earlier this week, Ardern said the Government has been in "close contact" with both iwi and Police.

"What we're doing is putting in these roadblocks [outside Auckland] so that it's not necessary elsewhere."

But she said she understood that the Government needed to give people, particularly iwi the assurance that "we are looking after those who are in areas outside of Auckland".