Hundreds stopped at southern checkpoints

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."

Police were conducting checkpoints north and south of Dunedin on Thursday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Police were conducting checkpoints north and south of Dunedin on Thursday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

"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.

Comments

Ok. Educate me.

How is going to my holiday home, out on the peninsula and miles away from my nearest neighbors, putting anyone at risk from this virus?

This looks far more about control of people than safety to me.

J Winter there is so much education out there. Let's say it again. If you had an accident you may need emergency services. You then put them, their families and the general public at risk- if you just happen to be a carrier (with or without symptoms). Yes, it is controlling people. Those that care about others that is.

It is sad that anyone could not figure that out for themself. The education system obviously failed so I doubt that anyone else could help here.

"It’s simple - travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading Covid-19, and puts lives at risk." Someone should tell Simon Bridges that!

Lol JWinter, you have been educated, but I have to say, I too would be surely tempted to 'escape' to the bach. Afterall, let's face it, there has been a lot of poor information. However, the messages are pretty clear and simple now.
I fully understand the urge, I too just want to get the hell away for a few days.
But, as others have said, we must do this. too much invested now, too much to lose if we don't continue on this path, as frustrating as it is.
Maybe cutting the lawns with scissors would help distract you?
One thing for sure, all of us, no doubt, have a greater appreciation of the freedoms we're used to.
All the best to you JW, and everyone else, enjoy what you can of this madness :)

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