COVID-19: Simon Bridges expresses frustration at Bay of Plenty case being able to cross Auckland border

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says there's frustration a COVID-19 case in Bay of Plenty was able to cross the Auckland border to move house.

COVID-19 testing stations are up and running in the small Bay of Plenty town of Katikati after the case was detected there on Saturday. The Ministry of Health said the person got tested while in Auckland on Friday, and it returned positive while they were in Katikati.

According to the ministry, the infection is a low risk as the person was fully vaccinated. They were in the process of moving from Auckland to Katikati.

The National Party fears regional hospitals won't be able to cope with an influx of COVID-19 patients if the virus spreads, Bridges says. 

"There is a bit of an inconsistency," said Bridges, a senior National MP. "I appreciate the rules… but I've got to say, I've dealt with families literally in the last two or three days trying to get loved ones out.

"I think this will be very concerning for people in the Bay of Plenty to see the potential spread… there'll be concern amongst the community," Bridges told Newshub on Sunday.

He said vaccination and intensive care capacity are becoming crucial.

"If we deal with those right - we don't need to see some of the horror stories in the way we have some of the rest of the world."  

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Gary Webber is urging everyone to take appropriate measures following the Katikati case.

"If in doubt, go and get a test - just get yourself vaccinated. It's the only way we're going to get ahead of this."

Webber said people can't afford to be complacent.

"Any incursion in any district is of concern… we've just got to do what we can do to get ahead of it now."

There's currently no COVID-19 press conference planned for Sunday, with the Ministry of Health to provide the latest cases via a press release about 1pm.

COVID-19 testing stations open in the area on Sunday:


  • Katikati Medical Centre, 4 Clive Rd, 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Katikati Rugby and Sports Clubrooms, Fairview Rd, Katikati 8:30am - 4:30pm (hours will be extended if there is high demand)
  • Tauranga Accident and HealthCare, 19 Second Ave, 8am - 6pm.