Far North District Mayor John Carter says the community is "frustrated, furious and angry" they've had to go into lockdown because "some bloody idiot" couldn't follow the rules.
The region was put in level 3 overnight after a person who tested positive for COVID-19 this week allegedly refused to cooperate fully with health authorities. She'd been in and out of Auckland, apparently using a travel document obtained under false pretences, and police are yet to find another person she was travelling with.
"Northlanders have done their best to make sure we keep the disease at bay, then we have this irresponsible person… that comes and destroys all we've worked for over the last couple of months," Cater told Newshub Nation on Saturday morning. "It's frustrating as all hell."
Carter said he wasn't yet aware of why the person might have been traveling around so much, or why they have been reluctant to cooperate with officials trying to trace their contacts and movements.
There have been rumours she is a sex worker - COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins on Friday said he couldn't confirm that, and Carter said he didn't know either. They were in Northland between October 2 and 6, and are believed to have travelled widely.
"It's just disappointing that we have these sorts of people… in our community. Everyone up north tried to do their best and it's just frustrating."
Northland is one of the least vaccinated areas of the country, and has a large Māori population at high risk of serious illness should they catch COVID-19. The low vaccination rate was behind the Government's decision to immediately put the region in level 3.
Carter said "these sorts of people, quite honestly, we don't need them in our society and in Northland we rally against them. It's just not acceptable, quite honestly. They're putting the lives of all our people at risk… we just don't need it and don't want it."
He's urging locals to get tested at the first hint of any symptoms, get vaccinated and look after each other.
So far ust two locations of interest have been made public - BP Connect Wylies petrol station at 49 Maunu Rd, Woodhill, Whangarei from 11:20pm on October 2 to 12:20am October 3, and the Z Kensington service station, corner of Kamo Rd and Nixon St, Whangarei from 3:45pm-4:45pm on October 4.
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