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Police say they are pleased with the behaviour of southern motorists after conducting checkpoints across the district today.
Hundreds of vehicles were stopped at 10 different checkpoints set up to ensure motorists were not flouting lockdown rules and travelling for the long weekend.
In a statement this evening police said in general compliance was good and "only a handful of motorists" were turned around.
Most of those on the road were either essential workers or people travelling to supermarkets.
In Dunedin, checkpoints were set up in East Taieri and Pine Hill this morning, while earlier the Queenstown Lakes District Council advised that police would be making checks over Easter "to ensure that people are not tempted to travel to their holiday homes over the weekend".
Police said this evening checkpoints would continue over the weekend, and the message was clear: "Stay home and save lives, now is not the time for non-essential travel."
"It’s simple - travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading Covid-19, and puts lives at risk.
"Travelling to the bach for a holiday is not essential travel and it is not permitted."
Their first step would be to educate, but if people continued to break the rules, police would use their discretion to warn people, or if necessary, they could be arrested.
Yesterday, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster announced police were ramping up efforts to stop anyone who might try to break lockdown rules by heading away for the long weekend.
"We know many New Zealanders may have been planning to catch up with friends and family this weekend or travel to traditional holiday destinations, but we urge anyone who was planning to do this - please change your plans and stay home," he said.