Fines for breaching Covid-19 rules soar, maximum for individual to be $12k

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

Penalties for Covid-19 breaches are being increased, with rule breakers potentially now facing fees up to $4000, and $12,000 if imposed by the courts. 

KFC and cash seized by police at Auckland border from two gang associates.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet viewed that the previous maximum fine for individuals of $300 or $1000 if imposed by the courts did not adequately reflect the impact of Covid spreading. 

"People by in large have been really compliant. However, there has been the odd person who have broken the rules and put others at risk. 

"We've always got to make sure people understand the rules, and understand the consequences of breaking the rules. 

"We need to make sure the fines really do reflect the gravity of the situation," she said. 

Ardern said each breach of the rules risked Covid spreading. 

The maximum fines for companies would also be increasing from $300 to $12,000, and from $1000 to $15,000 if imposed by the court. 

Ardern said courts would take into account circumstances and use its discretion. 

As of September 17, there had been 78 people in Auckland charged with 82 offences since the Level 4 restrictions came into force and 182 people had been formally warned.