Public urged to follow the rules at Alert Level 3
Over the 33 days that New Zealand was under Alert Level 4 restrictions the overwhelming majority of the public followed the rules, they stayed home and saved lives, says police.
The move to Alert Level 3 is a credit to the way New Zealanders responded to the level 4 restrictions and, by and large, the high levels of compliance.
“The sacrifices we all made over the last 33 days have made a real difference, but we can’t get complacent," says Commissioner Andrew Coster.
"We are now at Alert Level 3, that means staying at home whenever possible, limiting any travel and sticking to your household bubble."
During the Alert Level 4 restrictions police undertook tens of thousands of reassurance checks at essential facilities such as supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations and community patrols right across the country.
The focus for police was to educate and encourage compliance with the restrictions.
"Where necessary, when offending was persistent or serious, we took enforcement action.
"Up to 6pm last night there had been 5857 breaches of the Civil Defence Emergency Act or the Health Act since the Alert Level 4 restrictions came into place."
Of these breaches 554 were under the CDEM Act and 5303 were under the Health Act.
A district breakdown of enforcement actions (attached below) show that Counties Manukau and Wellington Districts recorded the highest number of breaches, where enforcement action was taken, while Northland and Bay of Plenty had the lowest.
"With the move to Alert Level 3, Police have issued updated operational guidelines, which are available on our website.
"At Alert Level 3 we will continue to be highly visible in our communities and on our roads to maintain public safety, security and order.
"We will continue to take an education-first approach and urge all New Zealanders to familiarise themselves with the updated restrictions and what they mean for them by referring to www.covid19.govt.nz.
"As with Alert Level 4, police will not hesitate to take enforcement action, either through warnings or arrests, for any serious or persistent breaches."