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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

Attribute to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster:

Police checkpoints at the southern boundary of Tamaki Makaurau have been running smoothly, with low traffic numbers and high compliance reported in the first day of operation.

Police want to thank the majority of New Zealanders heeding the Alert Level restrictions, and in particular motorists who have been organised and prepared with required documentation and proof of exemption to travel ready for staff at the checkpoints.

Five checkpoints are currently in operation on Auckland’s southern boundary with Auckland and Northland remaining at Alert Level 4.

Between 11.59pm on 31st August and 3.30pm on September 1st, a total of 3,059 vehicles were stopped at these five checkpoints.

Only 114 vehicles were turned away for non-essential travel, which is less than four percent of all motorists.

The checkpoint with the most vehicles turned around was the Southbound checkpoint at SH1/Mercer off ramp where 49 vehicles were turned away.

Vehicle traffic continues to be light at these checkpoints and the number of vehicles being processed through these southern Auckland checkpoints are lower than when they were last set up during Alert Level 4 in February this year.

These numbers show that by and large our community are doing the right thing and only carrying out essential travel and we want to thank the public for their cooperation.

A few motorists have been given warnings for undertaking non-essential travel and breaching the current restrictions in place.

Examples of non-essential travel included some motorists attempting to exit Auckland to get takeaways, or to pick up items purchased online.

Two men who were stopped at the Mercer checkpoint provided the excuse that they wanted to head to Hamilton to buy face masks, however Police pointed out there were a number of local places near their home where they could do so and they were turned around.

We reiterate that motorists without the appropriate exemption or proof of essential travel can expect to be turned around at our checkpoints.

The five southern checkpoints are at these locations:

• SH1/Mercer off ramp – southbound traffic
• SH1/Oram Rd – northbound traffic
• Mangatawhiri Rd/SH2
• East Coast Rd – Waharau Regional Park
• SH22/Pukekawa-Churchill Rd and Logan Rd

Northern Auckland checkpoints:

Following the announcement that Northland will be moving to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm tonight, Police will be establishing a number of checkpoints at Auckland’s northern border.

Operational planning is well advanced ahead of the Alert Level change for Northland, and Police will begin setting up these northern checkpoints from early this evening.

Northland Police will continue to be highly visible and operate checkpoints and random stops inside their district, however they will no longer be located at the three fixed checkpoints locations that have been operating for the past week.

Police continue to engage with iwi around the country, and particularly with regard to the management of the northern and southern boundary checkpoints.

The northern Auckland checkpoints will be set up again at the following locations:

• SH1/Mangawhai Road (Twin Coast Discovery Highway)
• Mangawhai Road / north of Coal Hill Road
• Black Swamp, west of Rako Road
• Mangawhai Road and Cames Road
• Mangawhai Road and Ryan Road
Note:  Mangawhai Road also known as Twin Coast Discovery Highway

Road safety:

Despite the travel restrictions that have been in place across the country since we entered Alert Level 4 in August, emergency services continue to be called to serious and fatal crashes throughout New Zealand.

Tragically, nine people have lost their lives in eight crashes since 19 August, and a number of other people have been seriously or critically injured.

While there are fewer vehicles on the roads under Alert Levels 3 and 4, we don’t want road users to become complacent, or to take unnecessary risks.

Even with less traffic on the road, it is vital that everyone continues to focus on the basics – drive within the speed limit and at a safe speed for the conditions, ensure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained, don’t drive while impaired, and put your phone away.

Compliance figures:

Since Alert Level 4 came into place, 155 people have been charged with a total of 166 offences nationwide as at 5pm yesterday (1 September 2021).

Of the charges filed, 107 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 37 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, 17 for Health Act Breaches, and 5 for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.

In the same time period, 429 people were warned for 432 offences. Of the formal warnings 180 were for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 138 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, 113 for Health Act Breaches, and 1 for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.

Since 19 August 2021, Police have been issuing infringements for COVID-19 related breaches.

As at 5pm on 1 September 2021, Police have issued 2,927 infringements nationwide. 2,850 of these were issued under the previous Health Order. Since the new Health Order came into force yesterday, 77 infringements have been issued as follows:

·       Left home / residence other than for essential personal movement (AL4) – 46
·       Left home / residence other than for essential personal movement (AL3) – 22
·       Failure to maintain physical distancing (AL3) – 3
·       Other breaches under the new Health Order – 6

Police have now received a total of 14,676 105-online breach notifications.

8,936 were about a gathering, 4,312 were about a business, and 1,428 were about a person.

In addition to the online breach notifications, a total of 9,451 Covid-19 related calls were made to the 105-phone line.

The majority (6,863) of calls were requests for information, and 2,588 were to report perceived Covid-19 breaches.

Police are also receiving a lot of calls from the public to our 105 line for queries about the restrictions around the different alert levels and further details on the exemption process for travel through checkpoints.
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Media note: Further detail about the boundary checkpoint locations, including maps, is available on the New Zealand Police website.