9 Apr 2020

Police checkpoints set up to stop holidaymakers

2:43 pm on 9 April 2020

Police have set up a checkpoint north of Wellington to catch people sneaking away for the long Easter weekend.

Police checkpoint north of Wellington.

Police checkpoint north of Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Vehicles are being diverted off State Highway 1 - north of Plimmerton - through a truck weigh station to be checked.

Police are looking for signs people are heading away for a holiday and cross-referencing registrations and licences to check drivers lived locally.

And in the South Island, police said they had stopped eight groups of travellers and turned them back to Christchurch.

In a release, Tasman police said they were stopping all vehicles on SH6 south of Murchison to ensure those on the road were undertaking essential travel.

"The message is clear stay home and save lives, now is not the time for non-essential travel," they said.

Usually in the days leading up to Easter people in Nelson were either heading down the Sounds, across to the bay or up to the lake, Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said.

"Not this year, we're staying put, we're staying at home," she said.

Police checkpoint north of Wellington.

Police checkpoint north of Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Checkpoint locations kept secret

The police are staying tight-lipped on where road blocks will be placed to prevent non-essential travel this Easter.

Media have been invited to visit some of the weekend checkpoints, starting Friday in Auckland and Christchurch.

A police spokesperson says that for operational reasons they can't provide details on where checkpoints will be placed.

The government and Ministry of Health have sent a clear message - this weekend needs to be a staycation.

Police checkpoint north of Wellington.

Police checkpoint north of Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

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