Covid breach charge for alleged Wanaka trip

A 36-year-old man has been charged with failing to comply with a Covid-19 order after allegedly travelling from Auckland to Wanaka over the past seven days.

Auckland and neighbouring regions Northland and Waikato are at Alert Level 3 restrictions due to the Delta outbreak, based in Auckland, while the rest of the country is at alert level 2.

A police spokeswoman said the man allegedly travelled from Auckland to Wellington on October 8, before continuing on to Wanaka on October 12.

He is due to appear in the Queenstown District Court on October 18.

People need an exemption to travel outside an Alert Level 3 area, and police would not hesitate to take enforcement actions against those deliberately breaching lockdown restrictions, the spokeswoman said.

The incident is the latest in a series of Covid-19 restriction breaches in which people have entered the Queenstown Lakes district.

A man travelled from Whangarei to Queenstown via Wellington last weekend without the correct documentation to travel under Alert Level 3 restrictions.

He is self-isolating in Queenstown while police investigations continue.

Auckland couple William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley admitted using essential worker exemptions to travel to a holiday home in Wanaka last month; a Dunedin forest worker was convicted on Monday of breaching August’s lockdown after going jet-boating near Wanaka with friends; and police are investigating whether an Auckland woman illegally travelled to Queenstown in September.

On Monday, Queenstown property developer Min Yang (41), who travelled from Auckland to Christchurch in September and subsequently to Queenstown, 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.

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

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