Wānaka holidaymaker facing other charges

William Willis, seen here at Horse of the Year in 2018, is reportedly facing further enforcement...
William Willis, seen here at Horse of the Year in 2018, is reportedly facing further enforcement action, in addition to the consequences of his lockdown breach this month. Photo: NZ Herald
William Willis, the man who broke lockdown restrictions by travelling to Wānaka this month, is reportedly facing drink-driving and traffic infringements.

Willis, 35, admitted to breaching alert level 4 rules in his trip south on September 9, alongside lawyer Hannah Rawnsley, 26.

Police claim the pair used essential worker exemptions to cross Auckland's southern alert level border before flying from Hamilton to Wānaka.

Now, it is understood Willis is facing further enforcement action, according to court documents seen by Stuff.

He was allegedly found with alcohol in his system while driving when he was stopped by police in Bombay in December.

The reading was allegedly over the 50 milligrams limit. Willis faces a fine and demerit points and is reportedly due back in court in October.

He was also caught driving in Drury in January when he was allegedly spotted using his cellphone, Stuff said.

Regarding their travel down to Wānaka, Willis and Rawnsley issued an apology on Tuesday after declining to continue pursuing name suppression.

William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley. Photos: NZME/Supplied
William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley. Photos: NZME/Supplied
"The decision that we took to travel to Wanaka last week was completely irresponsible and inexcusable," their statement said.

"We are deeply sorry for our actions and would like to unreservedly apologise to the Wanaka community, and to all the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, for what we did.

"We can confirm that as part of routine testing for essential workers when crossing the Auckland border, we both received negative Covid-19 tests prior to undertaking the travel, and on our subsequent return to Auckland. We can also confirm we were not considered close contacts nor had we had visited any locations of interest.

"... We understand that strict compliance is required to stamp out Covid-19 from our country. We have let everyone down with our actions, and we wholeheartedly apologise."

Willis' mother - District Court Judge Mary-Beth Sharp - also released a statement, condemning the couple's actions.

"I am a District Court Judge, but I issue this statement in my personal capacity. Like the rest of New Zealand, I was appalled to learn of my son William and his partner's actions over the weekend.

"I was and am highly embarrassed. Had I known of their intentions ... I would have told them not to act so thoughtlessly and selfishly. I do not condone their conduct."

The couple have returned to Auckland, and police have not laid any charges.

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