Six funeral goers break quarantine exemption, one still on loose

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the escape "can't be repeated."
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the escape "can't be repeated." Photo credit: Newshub

Former police commissioner Mike Bush has admitted one person who should have returned to managed isolation after a funeral, is still at large.

The 18-year-old was part of a family allowed a compassionate exemption to attend a funeral. The five other family members are now in quarantine after avoiding their return to managed isolation "for some time".

Initially all six were evading managed isolation. Then four family members returned and just two - an eight-year-old and 18-year-old were missing. 

The child has since been brought back to managed isolation and the teenager remains at a family property in Hamilton in self-isolation.

The family of six flew to New Zealand from Australia for a family member's tângi in Hamilton on Wednesday 10 June.

They were staying in managed isolation at the Pullman Auckland and granted exemption on compassionate grounds to attend a tângi and return to the facility on the same day. 

In an interview on Newstalk ZB, Bush said the escape was unacceptable and "can't be repeated". 

But Bush told Newstalk ZB it's important to remember they tested negative for COVID-19. 

"They are not a threat to anyone else," he said. 

Bush adds national compliance has slipped up recently.

"As we've moved from alert level 4 to level 1 that level of compliance has dropped off. So what we are doing as a result of that is stepping up our resourcing, our regime to ensure that people comply."

The five family members in Auckland will be tested again on Thursday June 18.