Person arrested in Hamilton after avoiding Auckland border checkpoint

A person has been arrested for failing to stop at a police checkpoint south of Auckland.

Checkpoints were set up around Auckland on Sunday night after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the city would be entering alert level 3 after new confirmed cases of community transmission. The rest of the country is at level 2.

Police have been stationed at the eight locations, stopping vehicles and questioning drivers, ensuring there is no non-essential movement through the region.

Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers said in a statement that since midnight on Sunday and 4pm on Monday, police have processed 14,142 vehicles through these checkpoints.

At the southern checkpoints, 779 of the 8607 vehicles which came through were turned away while 715 vehicles of 5535 vehicles at northern checkpoints were turned away.

But Chambers said one person had failed to stop at the Mercer Checkpoint on State Highway 1 and they were arrested sometime later when they stopped in Hamilton.

"The 26-year-old is currently assisting police with our enquiries and we cannot rule out the possibility of charges being laid," he said.

"Outside of the arrest mentioned above, there have been no other arrests or warnings in relation to the alert level restrictions that we are immediately aware of. Either in Auckland or across the rest of New Zealand."

Chambers said on the whole, Auckland motorists have been "understanding and cooperative".

"We continue to remind our community to make sure they have the correct documentation or if required, have applied for an exemption to enter, leave or drive through Auckland. Information on this available on the COVID-19 website.

'There were expected delays yesterday but reports today are that wait times have decreased but motorists should expect delays at peak hours."

On Monday night, food and freight trucks were among vehicles held up at the police checkpoint at Mercer.

Newshub's Karen Rutherford, who was at the scene, said there was a 45 minute-long queue at the checkpoint at 8:30pm.