Confusion reigns in Northland on alert levels and borders

Workers at a Northland beachside community have been turned around at police checkpoints this morning, shocked to discover they are part of the Auckland lockdown.

It comes as a Northland civic leader is annoyed at a lack of clarity around which areas are impacted by a change in Covid alert levels announced by the Government overnight.

Kaipara mayor Dr Jason Smith said the information he received was that police border checkpoints have been set up on the south side of the Brynderwyn Hills on State Highway 1, Mountain Rd in Maungaturoto, and along Robert Hastie Drive in Mangawhai.

“It’s extremely confusing and I am seeking clarification from the central government because as far as I am concerned, the community needs to know what’s happening.”

Citing an example, Smith said he and other people in Kaipara were in the dark as to whether students living in Kaiwaka who attended Otamatea College in Maungaturoto would be allowed to attend school today.

Smith said from the little information he received from the Government, Mangawhai and Kaiwaka fell in the Auckland region hence level 3 lockdown applied.

Northland is on level 2.

This morning a Mangawhai resident said a number of people heading for work 20km away at Waipu were turned back by police at a roadblock.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said there was considerable confusion among locals over the latest alert level boundary with official websites contradicting each other.

“It’s really crazy,” she said.

“We’ve got thousands of people living here and they need to know whether to go to work or not.It’s quite a big deal at the moment.”

She urged authorities to clearly spell out the situation.

A police spokesman said a press release would be put out sometime today with locations of the checkpoints.

Kaiwaka fire chief John Bowmar echoed similar sentiments, questioning why the borders have been changed this time round.

He said Kaiwaka School was closed but he wasn’t sure about any other school in the vicinity.

Mikayla Beets works in Mangawhai and said she was allowed through the checkpoint at Brynderwyns to go to work, even though she wasn’t an essential worker.

She lives in Maungaturoto and works at a nursery.

“I somewhat agree with the borders being shifted this time around, just to make it easier with less checkpoints, however there needs to be more clarity over what levels we are in and in what areas.

“I woke up this morning not expecting to come across border control as they said Auckland only, and I’m not sure whether they will be as lenient in letting me go through tomorrow.

“There certainly needs to be more updated information on the government websites, which is what we should be able to rely on.”

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