19 Sep 2021

Cutting through the back paddock - 'isolated' border breach attempts

3:32 pm on 19 September 2021

Homemade exemption passes and shortcuts through paddocks are among the attempted lockdown breaches reported by police this week.

Long view New Zealand dairy farm  wide angle landscape and cattle in distance

Photo: 123rf.com

Police said that while most Aucklanders were compliant, they had still seen "isolated incidents" where people made attempts to breach alert level 4 restrictions and cross the Auckland border.

One person attempted to travel through the Mercer checkpoint on the city's southern boundery, using an exemption they had written themselves.

Following checks by police, it was determined no efforts had been made to obtain a legitimate travel exemption.

The person was warned and turned back from the border.

In another case, a couple at the Mercer checkpoint presented a letter to staff which claimed they had completed Covid tests the previous day - but following staff enquiries, it was discovered the location the couple said they had been tested at was closed on that day.

Yesterday, a vehicle attempted to bypass the checkpoint at Pukekawa by cutting through paddocks.

However, police caught up with the vehicle further south of the checkpoint as it headed towards Huntly.

They were also turned around and issued with an infringement notice.

"We want to remind the public that police will continue to stop and question motorists travelling through the checkpoint and enforcement action will be considered for people deliberately attempting to breach the restrictions, which are in place to help keep everyone safe and reduce any spread of Covid-19 in the community," a police spokesperson said in a statement.

As of 5pm yesterday, 84 people have been charged with a total of 88 offences since Auckland entered alert level 4.

During the same time period, 183 people were formally warned for a range of offences.

To date, police have received a total of 9432 breach notifications relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Tāmaki Makaurau.

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