05 May 2020
Grant Carroll [email address]
Dear Mr Carroll
I refer to your email dated 30 March 2020 in which you requested the following
information about the Northland State Highway on 25 March 2020:
1) Was the setting up of these road blocks lawful and if it was what legislation or
New Zealand law permits this? If they were unlawful what police action is being
taken against those involved in setting them up?
2) What was the role of the police officers involved with the checkpoints?
3) It was also stated that police Far North Area Commander, Inspector Riki Whiu,
visited at least one of these roadblocks - what orders or advice was given by
him to the police officers involved with the checkpoints?
I have considered your request in accordance with the Official Information Act
1982. My response is below.
Police staff were in attendance to ensure the safety of everyone using the roads
and to ensure roads were not blocked. Our focus while attending was to provide
guidance and reassurance to tourists about their responsibilities as New Zealand
had moved to Alert Level 4 for COVID-19.
Police took the opportunity to speak to members of the public to ensure that they
were informed and that if they did not need to be travelling into the north they were
encouraged to travel to areas that could facilitate their needs.
I am advised that Inspector Whiu did not attend any of the checkpoints. He did
however speak with senior members of the local iwi to discuss ways they can keep
their people safe. Police continue to work with all communities across the country
to ensure people are kept safe and feel safe during these unprecedented times.
Lauano Sue Schwalger
Assistant Commissioner: District Operations