'Pointless' police checkpoints 'failed' Northland - Harawira

Source: 1News

Police checkpoints have hit the road in Northland but local iwi say they've come far too late.

Locals, including former MP Hone Harawira, claim Aucklanders have already made their lockdown dash out of the city.

Harawira told 1 NEWS police have failed Northlanders.

“There's hundreds and hundreds of bloody Aucklanders up here,” Harawira said.

“Putting up a border control eight days after is a pointless exercise they should have done this on day - not eight days afterwards.”

The border is having some impact though with police issuing one infringement notice today after a driver was turned around at two separate checkpoints.

Superintendent Tony Hill, Northland’s district commander, said they were confident with their actions though.

“We’re acutely aware that our community having growing concern about their safety and we want them to be safe and we’ve gone to this step now to ensure the communities really do feel that way,” Hill said.

Harawira argued otherwise, saying his team counted more than 500 cars an hour heading north ahead of lockdown in despite reassurances from police it was under control.

“They said to us we, ‘got this covered, there’s no need to stand up check points’,” Harawira said.

“We said, ‘are you sure?’ And then they just let all those people come in, they let them flood into the north.

“Northland police have failed Tai Tokerau.”

Hill conceded police aren’t sure just how many people have entered the region.

“We are aware that some people have come but I don't know the exact numbers for that,” he said.

“But I encourage people if they are aware of them then to report them to us.”

While there have been no reported Covid cases in Northland so far, dozens of close contacts are now isolating in the region.

Northland have also had more than 400 negative tests over the last week.