Saturday, November 27

Covid-19: Police Increase Auckland Region Border Controls


Border officials at a checkpoint north of Auckland say they have not had to turn down any cars this morning.

Northland, Auckland border

A police checkpoint early Friday morning on Twin Coast Discovery Highway.
Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

Northland is now at Alert Level 3, while Auckland remains at Alert Level 4, and police are checking that people only travel north for essential purposes.

The Twin Coast Discovery Highway checkpoint near the Mangawhai turnoff is one of five set up overnight.

There has been a steady stream of cars and trucks through the checkpoint this morning, where a dozen police officers have been working on a portable building and canopies.

Vehicles in either direction are being stopped by officers in protective gear, who are looking at people’s paperwork.

Police said it had been a smooth operation so far.

Police previously said they had turned four out of every 100 cars south of Auckland, on the Waikato border.

They said examples of non-essential travel included some motorists attempting to leave Auckland to get take out or to pick up items purchased online.

Police have reported lower volumes of traffic through the southern checkpoints compared to February, when Auckland was last at alert level 4.

North Auckland checkpoints are in:

South Auckland checkpoints are in:

  • SH1 / Mercer Exit Ramp – Southbound Traffic
  • SH1 / Oram Rd – northbound traffic
  • Mangatawhiri Rd / SH2
  • East Coast Rd – Waharau Regional Park
  • SH22 / Pukekawa-Churchill Rd and Logan Rd

Auckland residents should live in their ‘royal home’

Iwi leader Hone Harawira says his community plans to establish around half a dozen border control areas around Te Tai Tokerau.

He said Morning report they were working with the police to create information points for the community to help keep people safe.

“I’m glad you are [police] there, I hope they stay there until the crisis passes.

“I am sorry for the people of Auckland, and that is unfortunate, but we must make sure that all places outside of Auckland are well protected and to me, that means Te Tai Tokerau.”

Harawira said hundreds fled Auckland to vacation homes when the nation first entered the level 4 lockdown.

He said that caused Northland to have cases of Covid-19.

“You can put a firm border and you can still let people come home.

“I hope a lot of the officers up here will focus on identifying where these Aucklandites are, turning them around and sending them back.”

He said fewer people in Northland would mean a shorter list of contacts to track.

Auckland people should live in their “true home”.

“That is why it is important to have police at the borders, and why it is important to have a firm border so that all the damn artists fleeing Auckland can go back to their real home.

“People don’t live in two houses, they live in one. They come here just to play the runaway.”

Companies prepare

The executive director of the regional economic development agency Northland Inc, Murray Reade, said Morning report Going from level 4 to 3 was great news.

“People can start planning, which is really good because we are heading into our spring-summer season, which is really important for that particular industry.

“Second, the most important thing it does is give us a little bit of confidence that we are controlling this Covid-19 problem.

Cafe Cinema director Therese Wickbom in Kerikeri said the business could get ahead.

“We trust the community to support us and they trust us to be here, so we will do the best we can.

“I want to thank the restaurants and cafes that have chosen not to open at level 3 because last time it was very difficult. And I know they will be feeling really distressed and concerned about their customer base.”

She said her staff was ready and all mask and disinfection protocols were in place.


www.rnz.co.nz

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