Publication:

Te Awamutu Courier - 2021-10-14

Data:

Comments spark social media backlash

News

Waipa¯ District mayor Jim Mylchreest says he received “vitriol” and “horrific” social media backlash about comments he made around a North Island lockdown last week. Jim was in the news after he suggested a North Island or national lockdown would be the only way to deal with the increasing Covid spread through the Waikato. “It would be really challenging trying to adjust the alert levels without doing the whole country or the whole island really. “Once it gets into the Waikato, from a practical point of view and I’m certainly no expert, but you’ve simply just got to look at the geography and the number of roads radiating out from the Waikato it’s not as easy as blocking off Auckland. “So practically, I don’t know if it’s going to be possible, but we’ve got to try and contain it because there are still a lot of people out there that aren’t vaccinated and we’re still likely to overwhelm our health services,” he told the Herald last Wednesday. Jim later said in a press release that he did not call for an entire North Island lockdown. “You can read for yourself in the article, I stated the difficulty in how boundaries would be managed around the wider Waikato region if there was a level change to alert level 3,” says Jim. He said he has received immense public backlash. “I have had horrific comments emailed to me, and I have seen the backlash on social media and it is not on,” says Jim. “We are people too and we are working hard to ensure the community is informed.” Jim said this can only be done with correct and official information from the Ministry of Health. “We need to be working together, staying calm and ensuring that we are doing the best for our community — and at this stage, that is encouraging our community to follow Covid protocols and get vaccinated.”

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