Checkpoint stickers for Northland border run out a day early

Laura James
Source: 1News

Northland residents turned up in droves to the Waipu RSA on Sunday amid confusion about an initiative police planned to run.

On Friday, Northland police announced they'd be on site giving out car stickers, intended to help locals pass through the new summer checkpoints with ease.

They dished out 2,500 stickers on Saturday, but then cancelled Sunday's event as they had no stickers left.

Many Northland residents missed that memo, turning up in Waipu from all over the region.

One man told 1News he waited for hours in the queue on Saturday and was told to return on Sunday.

Another couple turned up early to queue on Sunday morning, waiting almost two hours.

"There was a huge line of cars, probably at least 60 to 70 cars, and we waited almost two hours now and there's been no one here to hand out the stickers full stop," a man in the queue said.

"The big line has gone now but there's constant procession of cars pulling in wanting to get stickers."

Kaipara District Mayor Jason Smith said the initiative came as a complete surprise to him.

"The community here is very confused and concerned about what's going," he said.

"I didn't get a sticker and I'm the mayor.

"What we're seeing right now is very short actions and proposals that haven't come through to the mayors of Northland, haven't been explained to us, we can't explain it to the community. Some of it does look like it's on a whim and without lots of evidence," Smith said.

The bright yellow stickers that've been slapped on 2,500 windscreens read "Pace Car, Slow the Pace, Share the Space".

Waipu resident Jean Tafu, who was one of those lucky enough to get a sticker said, "I don't know if they were printed especially... when you read them I think they're some sort of rejects from police action earlier."

She told 1News she hadn't been asked for proof of address or ID to get a sticker.

In a statement Northland District Commander Tony Hill said, "The purpose of the initiative was to help the local community, many of whom are likely to be travelling on SH1, Uretiti or SH12 Maungaturoto regularly.

He said the demand was overwhelming on Saturday.

"We hope it will speed up the process for those who received them.

"Those who don't have a sticker are able to pass through by providing those at the checkpoints with proof of address.

"We are mindful that traffic through this region is normally busy at this time of year and motorists will know they need to plan their trip and be prepared.

One local called the incident "a complete and utter ballsup".

There're a number of concerns about the new checkpoints set to operate from Wednesday, when Auckland's current border disappears.

Many Kaipara residents will need to pass through them because the district's being split.

Smith said, "we have absolute confusion in this space regarding the location of where these checkpoints are because they're not at the border, they're 25 kilometres inside the border to Northland.

"One of the complaints that I get from the good people of Kaipara is but how do I get around my own place."

He said people just need some clarity in this tough and busy time.