COVID-19: Police bust illegal church gathering day after Auckland's lockdown began

Police have given a written warning to a man who organised a church gathering in south Auckland despite the city being under strict COVID-19 lockdown.

Superintendent Jill Rogers said on Tuesday that as a whole police are pleased with Auckland's compliance - but not everyone is obeying the rules.

On Sunday, the day Auckland's COVID-19 alert level 3 began, police busted a group of people gathering at a home in Mangere East for a church service.

"[The gathering involved] multiple persons who did not reside at the address. A man was spoken about  the risks to the public created by those who are not following the restrictions in place and he was issued with a written warning in relation to this breach," said Rogers. 

She warned police will continue to patrol Auckland to remind anyone who may be breaching lockdown what the rules are - and that they won't hesitate to take action where necessary.

"It's important that everyone does their part to reduce the risk of community transmission and abide by the restrictions in place."

However most people are playing by the rules.

Rogers says of 38,997 vehicles stopped at 10 checkpoints across the city, only 583 were turned away.

"Police appreciate the cooperation of the public and we reiterate that those travelling through checkpoints need to make sure they have the correct documentation or, if required, have applied for an exemption."

Auckland's lockdown will last until at least Sunday after new community cases were discovered over the weekend. Jacinda Ardern said the seven-day lockdown was because one of the positive cases had gone to the gym after being tested, creating "multiple high-risk locations".

The rest of the country is at COVID-19 alert level 2.