29 Sep 2021

Police inspector, navy sailor investigated for crossing Auckland boundary without exemption

6:10 pm on 29 September 2021

A high-ranking police officer - an inspector - is being investigated for crossing the Auckland boundary without an exemption to attend a burial.

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

Photo: RNZ/Nick Monro

Auckland is currently at alert level 3 and restrictions relating to essential travel only remain in place.

In a statement via the media centre, a police spokesperson says the reported incident is very concerning.

RNZ has asked for further details.

The media centre has not answered questions about rank or age, which district is responsible for investigating, whether or not charges may be laid, or whether or not the inspector was allowed to travel beyond the border.

The police watchdog, the Independent Police Conduct Authority, has been notified.

Police Minister Poto Williams said it was disappointing an inspector was under investigation for crossing the Auckland boundary, apparently without an exemption, to attend a burial.

"I think we should all do what we are supposed to do, police included, it's quite disappointing if this case was a breach."

Williams said she had been briefed an officer was under investigation, possibly helping people cross the boundary, and it appeared to be an isolated case.

Navy sailor investigated for boundary breach

A junior navy sailor is being investigated, after allegedly breaching Auckland's boundary to attend a close family member's funeral.

The defence force says the junior sailor, who is fully vaccinated, travelled out of the region last weekend.

They had not applied for a travel exemption from the Ministry of Health.

The sailor has been instructed to isolate at their rural Hawke's Bay property and get a Covid-19 test.

The Navy is investigating the incident and the surrounding circumstances.

The regional health authority has been informed.

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