8 Sep 2021

Police add more officers to assist on Auckland border checkpoints

9:25 pm on 8 September 2021

More than 60 additional police officers from around the country will be deployed to assist at checkpoints on the Auckland region's boundary.

A police checkpoint in Mercer, near Auckland's border with Waikato.

A police checkpoint in Mercer, near Auckland's border with Waikato. Photo: RNZ/Nick Monro

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said this boost in support ensured police had sufficient resources to service regular operational demands and maintain a strong focus on alert level 4 compliance in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The additional officers will be brought in later this week from around the country and will consist of 34 staff who have volunteered for the deployment duty.

These additional officers would not be required to cross into the Auckland region, Coster said.

"These staff will be rotated out for an additional 34 staff at the completion of a set of shifts.

"Staff will be working and accommodated in the Waikato region, under alert level 2, and won't be required to cross into the alert level 4 region."

Police are currently operating 10 checkpoints around Auckland's northern and southern boundaries with the rest of the country having moved to alert level 2.

The change in alert level settings had not seen a significant increase in traffic volumes, and compliance with restrictions on travel through the border had been good, Coster said.

Police will continue to be questioning motorists travelling in and out of these checkpoints and they will be turned around if they do not supply the relevant evidence for permitted travel or an exemption notice.

Coster said in the 48-hour period from midnight 6 September to 11.59pm 7 September, 28,316 vehicles were stopped at the checkpoints.

Of those, 274 vehicles were turned around, which is less than 1 percent of vehicle traffic during this period.

And 144 vehicles were turned around at the northern checkpoints and 130 vehicles were turned around at the southern checkpoints.

Coster said this shows compliance has been extremely high and that motorists are carrying the evidence required to demonstrate their proof of travel.

However, today, one vehicle failed to stop for police and drove through the Southern boundary checkpoint at Mercer.

The vehicle was observed by Eagle as it headed north before stopping at a Kelston address.

Police arrived at the address to locate the male driver who then allegedly assaulted two officers.

A number of people at the address came out and began obstructing and being assaultive to police.

Two officers required treatment for injuries, Coster said.

A 27-year-old was due to appear in the Waitākere District Court this afternoon on a number of charges, including failing to stop, aggravated assault and driving while suspended.

A 60-year-old female has been summoned to appear in the Waitākere District Court on 20 October on charges of assaulting police and obstructing police.

Coster said a third person would be referred to the iwi community panels.

Monitoring motorists testing compliance

From 11.59pm on 16 September, workers crossing the boundary must carry evidence that they have had a Covid-19 test and Coster said police were trying to inform motorists of this requirement prior to the date.

"Police will be adopting an educational approach and will be speaking with motorists around the latest obligations under the alert level order," Coster said.

"From 11.59pm on September 16, Police will be spot checking vehicles and will turn around people at the checkpoints who do not have evidence of having a Covid-19 test."

"Everyone coming through the checkpoint from this date should expect to be asked for evidence of having had a test in the past seven days."

Coster said motorists would still be required to carry evidence of their permitted reason for travel or show the appropriate exemption, as outlined on the Covid-19 website.

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