Aucklander reportedly taken into custody after travelling to Whakatane, visiting retailers

  • 15/09/2021
Aucklander reportedly taken into custody after travelling to Whakatane, visiting retailers
Photo credit: Google Maps.

An Aucklander on their way to Whakatane was allowed through a COVID border checkpoint due to concerns for their safety.

It was reported by The Beacon on Wednesday morning that an Aucklander had been taken into custody earlier this week after being located by police in Whakatane.

Ministry of Social Development Regional Commissioner Mike Bryant confirmed to Newshub an individual from Auckland had "contacted us and said they had travelled to Whakatane".

"The client did not visit our service centre. As a result of the client contacting us we got in touch with Police and encouraged the client to visit the local Police Station."

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, police told Newshub the person "spoke to staff at the border checkpoint and was able to continue their travel due to concerns for their safety".

"Police engaged with the individual again when they arrived in Whakatane and after support from other agencies was put in place the person was able to return to Auckland."

The Beacon said it understood the person visited a number of retail premises and had contacted the local Work and Income office. It was reported the person had since undergone a COVID-19 test. 

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins wouldn't comment on the situation at Wednesday's 1pm briefing.

"Those are issues for the New Zealand Police who will enforce the lockdown rules," he said. "In the case of people who are permitted for move, around essential movement, those are questions for MBIE and health." 

"The vast majority of people in Auckland are doing it tough for the rest of the country and we thank them for it. If there are a handful of people who aren't doing that, they are undermining the collective team effort and they shouldn't."

It comes just days after an Auckland couple allegedly breached lockdown rules to travel to a home in Wanaka. The pair were named on Tuesday night after suppression orders lapsed.