30 Aug 2021

Whale watching and finding 'better quality meats' no excuse for travel - police

6:37 pm on 30 August 2021

Police say they are pleased with the public's overall compliance with level 4 restrictions over the weekend but have discovered people hunting, on their way to buy a puppy, trying to get 'better quality meat' and more.

A vehicle stops at a checkpoint on the Pacific Highway on the Queensland - New South Wales border in Brisbane on April 15, 2020. -

File photo. Photo: AFP

"By and large New Zealanders continue to recognise the importance of these restrictions for the health and wellbeing of us all," Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in a statement.

"Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind or take unnecessary risks. Police will not tolerate behaviour that deliberately jeopardises everyone's efforts to date."

Coster said the rules are clear and we all know them by now, so the public can expect a move from education to enforcement measures more quickly.

One example of a breach included a report of poachers on farmland in Grey District.

"Officers responded and located two men in a vehicle, one of whom admitted hunting," Coster said.

"An unloaded firearm was also found in the vehicle.

"Enquiries are underway to determine whether charges will be filed."

In Auckland, police at checkpoints saw low levels of traffic but some motorists were turned around for a range of reasons including exercising or shopping outside their neighbourhood and attempting to visit family or friends, Coster said.

"Other creative reasons for non-essential and long-distance travel around the country included needing to fix a shower, buying a puppy, delivering fish to a friend, getting "better quality meat", and going for a Sunday drive."

And in Wellington, police patrols turned around a number of people travelling to Pāuatahanui inlet to see a pod of orca.

Coster said that as of 5pm yesterday, 107 people have been charged with a total of 115 offences nationwide since alert level 4 restrictions began.

"Of the charges filed, 75 are for Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19), 26 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, 11 for Health Act Breaches, and three for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.

"In the same time period, 293 people were warned for 295 offences - 109 for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 101 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 85 for Health Act Breaches."

As at 5pm on 28 August 2021, Police have issued 2179 infringements nationwide:

  • Person failed to remain at current home / residence - 2018
  • Person failed to wear a face covering on premises - 41
  • Person failed to comply with applicable physical distancing rule - 62
  • Obstruct/Hinder Medical Officer of Health or Person Assisting Med Officer/Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19) - 25
  • Person failed to wear a face covering on public transport - 6
  • Person in control of premises failed to close as required - 6
  • Person in control of workplace failed to display QR code - 13
  • Person organised a gathering in an outdoor place - 8

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