Thousands Of Aucklanders Cross Into Northland Before Lockdown
The Government must clarify why it allowed thousands of Aucklanders cross into Northland in the six hours prior to New Zealand’s Level 4 lockdown, National List MP based in Whangarei Dr Shane Reti says.
Answers to written questions show 3316 vehicles with an Auckland residential address make their way through the Northern toll booth in the six hours before the Level 4 lockdown started. This is triple the number from the previous Friday.
“This supports the observation many Northland locals found that the roads into the region were bumper to bumper traffic over this period.
“Some of these vehicles may have been stopping at Warkworth, Mahurangi Peninsula and Wellsford, but estimates still show with more than 2000 vehicles passing into Northland with a conservative vehicle occupancy could mean about 5000 people entering Northland.
“The Government should’ve planned for a future lockdown and worked on a strategy so that the Northland boundary could be implemented far sooner.
“Not only have several thousand people brought their Auckland risk into Northland, but this has also unfairly burdened Northland infrastructure during Level 4 including supermarkets, health and police resources.
“The Government should also explain whether the huge numbers of Aucklanders fleeing to Northland contributed to the Northland region staying in Level 4 for a few extra days despite having no positive cases.”
Notes to editors: WPQ can be found here.