Police have carried out about 190 checkpoints around New Zealand since the countdown to Easter weekend started.

The checkpoints have been launched to ensure people were complying with alert level 4 restrictions relating to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Police said it was “pleasing to see” the majority of motorists stopped were complying with the rules.

“However, we are still seeing examples of people who are not complying.

“At a checkpoint northbound on SH1 at Fisherman’s Table, Paekakariki today, approximately 40 vehicles were stopped in an hour, and four vehicles were turned around.

“In one car, a man had driven from Porirua with his dogs and was heading to Waikanae to walk them as ‘that’s where he always goes’.

“Four flatmates from Mt Cook in another car told Police they were heading to Otaki for a day tramp in the bush.

“And a couple from Pukerua Bay were heading to Paekakariki to walk the Escarpment track back to Pukerua Bay — this was deemed unsafe.”

Police set up a checkpoint on State Highway 1 in Warkworth to catch people breaching the Covid-19 lockdown during Easter Weekend. Photo / Dean Purcell

Police also revealed that on Thursday night, a man in Wairarapa told a family member he was going fishing on the coast.

He did not return and was not in communication with his family.

This meant local Police staff were tasked with responding, including planning for a potential Search and Rescue operation if needed.

“The ‘missing’ Wairarapa man was found, and appeared to have decided to stay out on the coast overnight in his car,” a police statement said.

“This is a prime example of someone putting themselves, and emergency responders, at risk and taking Police resource away from where it should be.”

Police revealed that in the Auckland region, more than 2000 vehicles went through checkpoints across Auckland, with 46 drivers issued warnings, almost 400 vehicles were stopped in Southern District, with five warnings given for minor breaches, across Central District, 2123 vehicles were stopped, and 57 warnings were given out, and in Rotorua 600 vehicles were stopped with three turned back for non-essential travel.

Police have recorded a total of 583 breaches, with 74 prosecutions and 495 warnings issued since alert level 4 restrictions came into force.

Police continue to urge the public to stay safe this Easter by staying home.

Officers will continue to be highly visible on our roads throughout the long weekend, ensuring those who are travelling are doing so for an essential reasons.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government’s official Covid-19 advisory website

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