By Hazel Osborne for the Whakatane Beacon
An Aucklander who fled the city’s level 4 lockdown to come to Whakatāne this week may face prosecution.
Police found the Aucklander overnight on Monday and the person was taken into custody.
Senior Sergeant Al Fenwick said he was unable to make any further comments on the specifics of the person’s visit – if they were alone, why they were in Whakatāne, and where they had been because the matter was under investigation and police might prosecute.
The Beacon understands the person visited a number of stores and contacted the Whakatāne Work and Income office.
MSD regional commissioner, Mike Bryant, said the ministry could confirm a client from Auckland made contact with Work and Income, and said they had travelled to Whakatāne.
“We got in touch with police and encouraged the client to visit the local police station,” he said.
Bryant said the client did not visit the Pyne St service centre.
Police are following instructions from the Ministry of Health and the person has undergone Covid-19 testing. They will be taken back to Auckland.
Fenwick said it was disappointing these people would blatantly break the rules.
“Every one of these people who do this are putting our community at risk. It’s very selfish, people just need to do the right thing,” he said.
“Even if they don’t have Covid it presents as an opportunity for it to come into our community and that’s the last thing we want.”
Anyone who knows people from the Auckland region who have come to the Eastern Bay are asked to report them directly to police via 105 or call the Whakatāne station.
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