Whangārei mayor hits out at Aucklanders escaping to holiday homes ahead lockdown

3:07 pm on 19 August 2021

Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai has hit out at Aucklanders pouring into Northland in the face of strict level 4 Covid-19 lockdowns.

Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai

Photo: Northern Advocate / Tania Whyte

Mai said anecdotal evidence indicated Aucklanders had again exited northward in droves on Tuesday evening, ahead of the country's level 4 Covid-19 lockdown starting.

She said this placed Northlanders, in their home, at risk.

That was particularly the case with the more contagious Delta strain being confirmed for the first Devonport case, identified on Tuesday.

"In the situation facing us, even one Aucklander is one too many," Mai said.

"To Aucklanders who think they need to come to their holiday home in Northland, think again. This is our home, you stay in your home.

"Clearly this week's new cases are Auckland-based. People coming up here from Auckland may not even know they have been exposed to virus before they left. And I just hope nobody has come up here feeling sick, that's even worse."

Mai said the Covid-19 level four lockdown rules were there for a reason, to protect people.

Those who moved between regions were compromising this.

She said Aucklanders who had come to Northland must now make sure to stay home in their new bubble, just like Northlanders were doing.

Mai said it was crucial Northlanders adhered to level 4's stay home rules.

The situation facing New South Wales, where New Zealand's new Delta case is linked to, was being compounded by people who were actively infected out in the community.

New South Wales' latest 600-plus new Covid-19 cases included about 90 actively infected people mixing in the community.

Mai said it was also crucial Northlanders got vaccinated and used their Covid-19 scanner app.

Mai said she used it constantly, as many as half a dozen times daily.

Kaipara Deputy Mayor Anna Curnow was today urging people to get vaccinated fast in the face of Auckland's rapidly-growing Covid-19 community case numbers.

She said Wednesday's confirmation of this week's first new Covid-19 community case as being Delta added new dimensions to the challenges of managing the outbreak.

Kaipara was on Auckland's border, making it more exposed to the risk from what were at time of writing seven new Covid-19 community cases.

"If we want to be able to return to any kind of confidently normal life, we need to be vaccinated," Curnow said.

"It's very easy to do and completely painless," she said.

Her comments come ahead of Covid-19 vaccinating restarting this morning after a 24 hour halt, following discovery of the Devonport Delta case.

"Delta's a significantly more contagious variant of the virus," she said.

She said Northlanders should also be using their Covid tracer app.

"I scan religiously, every time I go anywhere - petrol stations, cafes, shops, museums, council buildings.

"It's easy and what keeps us safe," Curnow said.

She is working with Northland police around clarification of the Northland Auckland border, should different lockdown levels eventuate after what's currently a three-day level 4 lockdown for the region - whilst from Saturday Auckland remains in its week-long level 4 lockdown.

Kaipara District Council (KDC) today moved straight to online meeting, livestreaming on Facebook.

no metadata

Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the News Publishers' Association and NZ On Air.


This is an official Covid-19 ALERT.

All of New Zealand is now at Covid-19 alert level 4.

The alert level will be reviewed after 3 days for all areas EXCEPT Auckland & Coromandel Peninsula which is likely to remain at level 4 for an initial period of 7 days.

A community case of Covid-19 has been identified.

Stay at home where possible & follow the Alert Level 4 guidelines. This will stop the spread of Covid-19 and SAVE LIVES.

Everyone is asked to:

Wear a mask and keep a 2 metre distance from others whenever you leave your home.

If you are sick, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

Keep on scanning QR codes whenever you leave your home.

Practice good hygiene - wash hands often.

Services including supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics & petrol stations will stay open at Alert Level 4. Face coverings are mandatory for all people - both employees and customers - at businesses and services operating at Alert Level 4 involving customer contact.

For more information on Alert Level 4 go to [the government website www.covid19.govt.nz]


RNZ is the statutory Lifeline Utility responsible for radio broadcasting under the Emergency Management Act 2002 and it has a memorandum of understanding with Government which has been activated to help deal with potential health issues related to the pandemic. RNZ's Lifeline Utility obligations do not affect our editorial independence as a public media organisation or the rigour of our news gathering and reporting operations.

As New Zealand's Lifeline Utility radio broadcaster, RNZ is required to maintain essential public information channels and news during times of national emergency and we are committed to supporting all New Zealanders.

We are also committed to looking after the health and well-being of our staff.

RNZ will continue to provide essential information services - broadcasting and publishing critical public service announcements on air, on our website and via social media channels. Comprehensive news will be available on air and via our website and digital services.

If necessary RNZ Concert and RNZ Pacific will carry news and information from RNZ National. Parliament will continue to be broadcast on the AM network when the House is sitting. As the country's public service media organisation, RNZ is committed to supporting all New Zealanders.

Kia Kaha - Stay Strong

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs