Coronavirus: Government looking to deport foreign backpackers flouting self-isolation protocols

The Government says it is using its "full powers" to track down people breaking coronavirus self-isolation rules - and is threatening to deport them.

"We are very concerned if people are not taking this seriously," a spokesperson for the Prime Minister told Newshub on Monday.

It comes after backpackers told a Newshub reporter in Christchurch on Monday morning that while they will try to keep their distance from people as they travel in a campervan, they plan on travelling the country as normal.

"We're in the process of tracking down individual cases breaking self-isolation... We will use the full powers available to us which at a very minimum is detaining and requiring self-isolation," the spokesperson said.

"If they refuse to do that, we will look at deportation."

The Government wants to demonstrate early on it has zero tolerance for people not abiding by the rules, announced on Saturday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

All travellers to New Zealand - excluding 17 Pacific Island regions - must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, including those who have travelled to Australia.

The travellers, who said they had come from Melbourne, said they planned to stay in a caravan and "keep travelling but keep distance from people".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show earlier on Monday morning that any foreign travellers who fail to self-isolate could be deported and that she had asked officials if she has that power - and if not, she would seek that power.

"We have the ability to quarantine them - put them in a facility, quarantine them, have a police officer stand outside the door and make sure they don't leave. But I've also asked the question whether I have the power to deport as well."