Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Kaitaia pair arrested after supermarket face mask fracas

Two people have been arrested for refusing to wear masks and causing disorder at Kaitaia’s Pak’nSave supermarket.

Police were called to the Far North town’s only supermarket about 12.30pm on Thursday.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said two people were acting in a disorderly manner towards supermarket staff and members of the public while refusing to wear face coverings.

A 44-year-old man and 23-year-old woman were arrested for disorderly behaviour and breaching the Public Health Response Act.

The woman was also reportedly behaving in a threatening manner, Coster said.

Since 11.59pm on Wednesday face masks have been mandatory for anyone over the age of 12 when accessing essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, dairies and service stations. Masks were already required on public transport.

According to court documents, Reti Boynton appeared in the Kaikohe District Court yesterday morning charged with disorderly behaviour and failing to comply with a Covid-19 direction.

Caroline Boynton-Popata appeared on the same charges plus a charge of threatening behaviour.

Both were remanded on bail and are due back in court on September 24.

Police were also called to New World in the Whangārei suburb of Regent on Friday morning after a man aged about 25 refused to wear a mask and was reportedly harassing staff.

He left before police arrived but staff passed his vehicle details to police.

Foodstuffs New Zealand, which owns the Pak’nSave, Four Square and New World chains, said it would not permit people in-store without face coverings.

Anyone who didn’t want to wear a mask, and was not covered by one of the exemptions listed on the government’s Covid-19 website, should consider using the company’s online shopping service.

Coster said three people were also arrested in Christchurch on Thursday after refusing to observe Covid-19 rules.

They were part of a group of 10 taking part in an anti-lockdown protest on the Bridge of Remembrance on Cashel St.

Two men, aged 46 and 50, and a woman, 56, were charged with failing to comply with a Covid-19 direction.

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