4 Apr 2020

Resident furious outsiders ignoring lockdown to use holiday homes

7:29 pm on 4 April 2020

A small Coromandel beach community is furious that outsiders are turning up to their holiday homes for the weekend, despite the lockdown.

Sunset View of Cooks Beach from Shakespeare Cliff Lookout at Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand.

A Cooks Beach resident said people are turning up to their holiday homes and ignoring the lockdown. Photo: 123RF

A Cooks Beach resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, reckons about 70 holiday houses have become occupied in recent days.

People are turning up with boats and kayaks and have boasted to locals that there are no police on the roads to stop them from arriving, he said.

The resident said the new arrivals could put strain on the one dairy in the community and may risk the community's health.

"If they do get sick, it's the locals who have to look after them - the volunteer ambulance and the volunteer fire service - so you're putting those locals at risk too.

"Instead of doing what the government told them to do, they are flouting the laws, driving back and forth and generally having a good time," he said.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

He said the police seem to be hand-tied about what authority they have to carry out the rules, and they are under-resourced in the area.

The deputy chair for the Mercury Bay community board, which covers the Cooks Beach Area, Bill McLean said it is up to people to respect the rules and not put other communities in jeopardy.

He said there are no medical services near to Cooks Beach and it would be a problem if someone needed urgent care.

"People are being totally inconsiderate of other people, by disobeying the clear rules that have been laid down."

He said there is no way the community knows if outside visitors have been in contact with someone who is infected.

"Protect yourself and for goodness-sake, don't carry anything out of your area that may affect others."

See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

McLean said the local police are looking to create advertisements warning people to stay where they started lockdown.

The police said they are working closely with the Coromandel community to provide education, advice and encouragement on the reasons for the Level 4 restrictions, and how they can comply.

"This includes information around safe social distancing, staying at home and staying within our bubbles," they said.

The police reiterated that people need to keep their movements local and are asking people to avoid swimming, surfing and boating.

"A walk along your local beach is fine, but don't do anything that may require help if you end up getting into trouble, because that might put others at risk."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs