Three taken into custody on Tūroa ski field over Covid breach

Sean Hogan
Source: 1News

A person from Auckland on a travel exemption and two other people have taken into custody on Tūroa ski field this afternoon.

Snowcapped skis on the top of ski slope.

1News has obtained an internal message to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts staff alerting them to the situation today.

The message tells staff three people visited the ski field, one from Auckland on a valid Alert Level 4 travel exemption.

“These guests were supposedly transferring back to work in Christchurch and made an unscheduled and unauthorised stop at Tūroa.”

The information came to light after the trio were being investigated for a “serious case of pass fraud”.

It goes on to say police became involved and “the three are now in custody and are being held for further questioning”.

It’s unclear if the other two people are also from Auckland.

Wanganui District Health Board and the Director of Health at the DHB have been notified and have stated there is a “very low” risk of exposure to other people on the mountain due to the exemption requiring a negative Covid test.

The individuals completed one lap up the Movenpick and High Noon Express before they were intercepted by police when they returned to base.

Alpine café will be completing a deep clean but the mountain will reopen under Level 2 restrictions tomorrow due to advice from the DHB.

"At this stage, and based on advice from Wanganui DHB, we intend to continue as normal with no effect to operations," Ruapehu Alpine Lifts said on Facebook.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts told 1News the issue is now a police matter and would not comment further.

Police have not yet responded to questions from 1News.