Queenstown Lakes mayor condemns 'selfish' Auckland couple who crossed Auckland border, flew to Wanaka

Queenstown Lakes District's mayor is calling for action to be taken against the "selfish" Auckland couple who travelled to Wanaka during lockdown.

The couple – a 26-year-old woman and 35-year-old man – crossed the Auckland alert level 4 border using essential worker exemptions, drove to Hamilton Airport and then flew to their holiday home in Wanaka.

Speaking to Newshub on Monday, Queenstown Lakes District mayor Jim Boult said he feels "pretty filthy" about the couple's actions.

"Folk doing these things are not only a danger to the health of people in this part of the world but we are also holding onto our economic livelihood by our fingernails at the present time," he said. 

"If we ended up in another lockdown situation like Auckland are going through at the present time, it would be the end of a lot of businesses in our part of the world. It's a very selfish thing to do."

The couple had used essential worker exemptions to cross the alert level border south of Auckland, and Boult said he has "some sympathy" for those running the system.

"If people are determined to break the rules, they'll find a way, but I am interested in knowing what sort of thing can be done to stop this sort of thing happening in the future. 

"The South Island has now been COVID-free for something like almost 400 days so it would be monumentally disappointing if we ended up with a case down here on the back of people doing silly things like this."

Police have confirmed the couple will be prosecuted for breaching the current Health Order, by failing to return to their place of residence within the alert level 4 area after leaving for approved essential personal movement.

The pair will be issued with a summons to appear in court in the coming week.