Queenstown developer denies lockdown breach

Min Yang. Photo: ODT file
Min Yang. Photo: ODT file
A Queenstown property developer has denied breaching lockdown restrictions by flying from Auckland to Christchurch before making his way to Otago, last month.

Representing himself in the Queenstown District Court on Monday, Min Yang (41) pleaded not guilty to a charge of intentionally failing to comply with an order made under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act by leaving an Alert Level 4 area and travelling to an Alert Level 2 area without just cause or authority.

The charge, dated September 2 in Christchurch, carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment or a $4000 fine.

The Otago Daily Times understands the man was visiting family in Auckland when New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown on August 17.

Yang, who is behind the controversial Jade Lake apartment development in Fernhill, was asked by prosecutor Sergeant Ian Collin why his occupation was given as ‘‘bus driver’’ on his charge sheet.

He replied he had not told police that, and that he was a construction company manager.

Public health officials in Queenstown had carried out a health assessment of the man at the time and said he presented a ‘‘very low public health risk’’.

Judge Russell Walker remanded him on bail for a case review hearing on December 6.