Police have been visible in communities across New Zealand today talking with people and reinforcing the guidance around what New Zealanders should be doing under the government’s Alert Level 4 restrictions.
In general communities across the country have followed the guidance and they have stayed home.
There were some isolated incidents where there were reports of people congregating.
In these situations the people were spoken to and provided with advice on what the restrictions mean.
The Alert Level 4 means New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all interactions with others outside of their bubble.
New Zealand Police has been working hard to put in place measures to ensure we can play our part in the COVID-19 national response, while also ensuring that capacity is in place to continue providing essential policing services.
I am confident that the vast majority of New Zealanders will continue to comply with the level 4 lockdown measures because we all want to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
However, there are a number of steps we can take to enforce compliance when we become aware of breaches of the lockdown, beginning with education and warnings.
Police will use the enforcement powers provided in the Health Act and the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 if required.
If police become aware of persistent breaches of the lockdown, those in breach may face arrest and/or prosecution.
This is an unparalleled situation, not just for New Zealand, but for people right around the world.
I urge all members of our community to follow the lockdown measures and stay home.
This will help keep you and your loved ones safe, and will also ensure NZ Police can direct our resources to where they are most needed – delivering essential policing services for communities across New Zealand.
To keep up to date with COVID-19 related information, please visit www.covid19.govt.nz.