New Plymouth mayor tells Kiwis concerned with alert levels to 'take it up with Ashley'

New Plymouth's mayor has told Kiwis wanting harsher COVID-19 restrictions to take their issues up with the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, not him.

New Zealand recorded three new community cases of coronavirus on Sunday - all from one family.

While they are from Papatoetoe in South Auckland, two of the cases had also travelled to New Plymouth in the first weekend of February, while potentially symptomatic.

Some locals were left concerned when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern only put Auckland in alert level 3 lockdown, while the rest of the country, including New Plymouth, went to alert level 2.

Mayor Neil Holdom told The AM Show on Monday that anyone concerned about the alert levels should get in contact with the Director-General of Health.

"You can take that up with Ashley," he said. "I think they have done a pretty good job in the past and they make their decisions based on the information that they have got. We know that we have to be vigilant right now but we are feeling for our friends up in Auckland."

He said the latest outbreak is a real concern for the whole economy, considering the toll previous lockdowns have taken.

Holdom also pointed out that the cases are of the UK strain - which is more transmissible.

"It means we are obviously going to have to ramp up the measures to try and stamp it out," he said.

"I spoke to the CEO of the Taranaki District Health Board last night and they are having to ramp up all of their protocols so they will have testing facilities ready to go today. We know that our people will get in there and get tested. 

"Our iwi did a fantastic job last time we went through this and they will be getting out and mobilising, making sure their people are safe and getting tested. But, until we get those tests done, we haven't had any anecdotal information of people getting sick but it's really about getting tested and those people who are at risk staying home until they are tested."

The next update on the COVID-19 cases is due at 1pm.