Police‘s position on COVID-19 checkpoints
Police say they do not encourage people run checkpoints in their communities.
"Police understands that some small and isolated communities feel they have a particular vulnerability to COVID-19," says a statement released by New Zealand Police this afternoon.
"Police are committed to ensuring communities are safe and feel safe.
"Police understands that some small and isolated communities feel they have a particular vulnerability to COVID-19."
A police spokesperson says police and other agencies remain responsible for ensuring that people comply with the restrictions under the different COVID-19 Alert Levels.
Where communities have determined to undertake checkpoints to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Police are working with those communities and other agencies to ensure checkpoints are safe and not preventing lawful use of the road.
"Working in partnership with the local authority, the local Civil Defence Emergency Manager, local Iwi, community groups and Police, we will assess whether checkpoints are needed or if there are other solutions."
If COVID-19 checkpoints for vulnerable communities are deemed necessary for the overall safety and wellbeing of a community, they:
• Will be operated by district Police alongside community members
• Will be conducted in a safe manner, according to Police operational guidelines and practices
• Will be guided by the relevant alert level status as set out in the Government’s COVID-19 response
• Will not restrict access for people moving through for legitimate purposes
Police will continue to work with those communities and local agencies in Alert Level 3 and 4 to understand their concerns and needs. Police do not envisage a need for COVID-19 checkpoints to operate at Alert Level 2.
"Every person in New Zealand has a right to freedom of movement, including to travel along the roading network and in any public place, and this fundamental right may only be restricted through the law.
"Currently movement around our regions must comply with the settings allowed under COVID-19, set out at COVID-19.govt.nz.
"We recognise that community efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 are motivated in the interests of the wider community.
"However, Police must protect people’s fundamental right to freedom of movement around their region for legitimate purposes."