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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

Police have arrested a small number of people near checkpoints at Auckland’s borders who have been flouting the rules and found to be in possession of drugs, including methamphetamine and cannabis.

Yesterday two men aged 36 and 52 were stopped in their vehicle at Auckland’s southern checkpoint at Mercer travelling south.

While they both produced travel exemption notices, officers at the checkpoint noticed the smell of cannabis coming from their vehicle and they were questioned further.

It was then established they were not travelling for essential purposes and both were found to be in possession of over 2kgs of cannabis.

The men were charged with Possession for Supply and Failing to Comply with the Covid-19 order and are due to appear in the Manukau District Court today.

Near a checkpoint on State Highway 1 north of Auckland, good spotting by two officers also led to the arrest of a man found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.

He was found running along train tracks trying to evade the checkpoint separating the Auckland and Northland regions. 

A 29-year-old man was arrested, issued with an infringement for breaching the Level 4 alert restrictions and has been summonsed to appear in court on a drug charge next month.

These incidents demonstrate not only a lack of compliance for the Alert Level 4  restrictions, but also a complete disregard for the law.

Police continue to make enquiries after a 26-year-old woman and 35-year-old man travelled from Auckland to Wanaka last week.

The couple reportedly crossed the Alert Level 4 boundary after providing an exemption on Thursday 9 September, drove to Hamilton Airport and boarded a commercial flight where they travelled to Queenstown via Wellington.

Once there, the couple rented a vehicle and drove to Wanaka.

Police were notified of the incident via the COVID-19 compliance online reporting tool and located the pair in Wanaka on Saturday afternoon.

After being spoken to by Police the couple indicated they would return to their usual place of residence.

Police are now considering charges under the COVID 19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

The Ministry of Health has been notified.

What is most frustrating for Police is that these incidents detract from the overall high level of compliance shown to date by the public.

As of 11.59pm yesterday, a total of 87152 vehicles have now been stopped at the 10 checkpoints on Auckland’s northern and southern boundaries since 11.59pm on 31 August.

71081 vehicles have been stopped at the five southern checkpoints.

Of these, 841 were turned away for non-essential travel, including 137 yesterday.

At the five northern checkpoints, which have been in place since Northland dropped to Alert Level 3 at 11:59pm on 2 September, 16071 vehicles have been stopped.

Of those, 263 vehicles were turned away for non-essential travel, including 27 yesterday.

Tāmaki Makaurau compliance update

Since Alert Level 4 came into place, in Tāmaki Makaurau 71 people have been charged with a total of 75 offences as at 5pm yesterday (12 September 2021).

Of these, 59 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 13 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, one for Failing to Stop (COVID 19-related), and two for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.

In the same time period, 165 people were formally warned for a range of offences.

To date, Police have received a total of 7,867 105-online breach notifications relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Tāmaki Makaurau.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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