People still breaching rules a week in

A week and a day have passed since the country went into Covid-19 lockdown - and people are still breaching the rules.

The police 105 number is still busy and the online form to report breaches is also running hot - getting almost 10,000 reports by midday on Tuesday.

On social media, people from around the country continue to report seeing groups of people out at the local park, not adhering to social distancing rules or visiting a relative's home.

Others have reported people out surfing and swimming - against lockdown rules.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand is among those reminding people that such activities are not allowed right now.

"Please - no rock fishing, fishing from a boat, surfing, kite surfing, knee boarding, stand-up paddle boarding, paddling, snorkelling, surf ski or diving etc during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"Yep, we know it sucks," a Facebook post read.

"If you get into trouble, you take our emergency services away from where they need to be. Stay home, save lives."

A Coastguard Northern Region spokeswoman said this morning that people had mostly been good by staying away from the water.

After the initial couple of days into the lockdown, people were somewhat unsure as to whether or not the lockdown meant they could not be out on a boat.

Authorities later said the official advice was for fishermen and anyone keen to get on a boat to stay away in case an emergency meant the Coastguard and other services would have to be called out.

"There have been a few [incidents], but not many," the spokeswoman said.

"There have been quite a few swimmers at Mission Bay."

Maritime Police are understood to be keeping a close eye on anyone who may be flouting the lockdown rules on the water.

And the fishing community, in particular, were said to be supporting each other - while calling people out who may be ignoring the rules.

Coastguard acknowledged that, at the last count, about 2500 people lived on boats around the country.

They had not received reports of major incidents in the past few weeks involving people living on boats around the Auckland region, or in marinas.

Tennis NZ is also warning people not to use tennis clubs after reports people had been seen playing tennis in the past week.

The group said it had received a number of complaints from members of the public.

"During level 4, this is not allowed.

"We have to make sacrifices and we have to take ownership over the things we are responsible for," a notice read.

"If two people play tennis - even from the same bubble - two more will go, then two more and more. Please remind your members of this responsibility we have to one another."

Meanwhile, Women's Refuge NZ is telling anyone who finds themselves in a dangerous situation to get out immediately - lockdown or not.

Chief executive Dr Ang Jury said the organisation had noticed a slight increase in reports of family harm, but was expecting things to get worse.

Her advice to victims of family harm was to prioritise their safety.

"If you feel unsafe, leave the house, lockdown or not. Go outside and call the police."

Dob them in

Over the weekend, police were called to a backpackers lodge in Queenstown after neighbours reported a gathering of up to 60 people.

The tourists were seen spilling out of Deco Backpackers laughing and holding bottles of alcohol - some reportedly drunk.

Police have launched a dedicated Covid-19 L4 breach form, via its website, to report any breaches of the lockdown - whether it be a business that should not be open or neighbours having a party.

The online form was set up after 2000 people called 111 to report breaches days into the lockdown.

It was also put up to steer traffic away from the new 105 police number, which the public were initially encouraged to call to report a breach.

As of midday on Tuesday, almost 10,000 people had reported those who were not sticking to the rules.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush again pushed the message that authorities, the Government and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have been preaching for weeks now - stay home.

"We are continuing to take the approach of educating and informing people of their responsibilities in the first instances, but we will not hesitate to take enforcement action if people continue to ignore the restrictions," Bush said.

"Police do not want to have to arrest anyone or visit people because they are doing the wrong thing.

"Please stay at home, follow the guidelines on and don't give people a reason to report your behaviour to police."


'Preaching'. What a giveaway, Herald. The PM just takes horses to water. They will not drink. National years of individual self interest made the country juvenile.

It's a long shot to blame a political party for individual stupidity. Any individual who is self interested AND intelligent wouldn't flout the rules, because this virus can smack healthy young people for a 6 - not only old people.

Then you may firstly wish to speak to Sue Bradford. No discipline, no consequences, and leading up to that, 'everyone is a winner' and 'you are the most important person', preceded by "you can do and be anything you want", which of course raised some very high hopes and some very real emotional issues when they failed. But hey, at least they got the 'I participated Certificate'. All, now, firmly established modern education theory and practice, giving those educated in the last 15-25 years the belief that the 'bubble wrap' is plentiful and will protect you at all costs. However those costs are the continued burdens of others. Those 'catch cries' now firmly kick all of us firmly in the posteria. Now, so called 'intelligent people' flout the rules everyday..,..and then they want a hug, a high five and an affirmation text with positive emoji's when anyone in any sort of authority wishes to take them to task.....
With respect, I think you missed the point.
Anyway, for now, we'll STAY HOME and stop touching our faces.

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter