Man charged after journey from Whangārei to Queenstown

Police have charged a man for breaching Covid restrictions after he flew from Whangārei to Queenstown on the first day of the latest alert level 3.

Authorities have summoned the 41-year-old man to the Whangārei District Court for failing to comply with order (Covid-19) in relation to travelling to Queenstown, via Wellington, on October 9.

A police spokeswoman said they were not in a position to comment further as the matter was before the courts.

Police had been investigating how the man was able to travel from Whangārei Airport to Queenstown via Wellington without any of the travel documents required under alert level 3.

Police said he was "travelling for employment" when he reportedly caught the first commercial flight out of Whangārei at 12.25pm on Saturday, October 9 – the first day of Northland's snap lockdown.

Aviation Security Service travelling from Auckland narrowly missed the man in the terminal by about 15 minutes.

The man stayed overnight at a hotel near Wellington Airport before catching a morning flight to Queenstown.

Since alert level 3 came into place, 28 people have been charged with a total of 29 offences in Tāmaki Makaurau, Northland, and parts of the Waikato, as at 5pm on Tuesday.

Of these, 17 were for failing to comply with order (Covid-19), nine were for failure to comply with direction/prohibition/restriction, two were for assaults/threatens/hinders/obstructs enforcement officer and one was a Health Act breach.

In the same time period, 29 people were formally warned.

Police have received a total of 5019 105-online breach notifications relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people across the three regions.

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