Three Aucklanders arrested after a trip to the snow

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Sep 2021, 9:47AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Three Aucklanders arrested after a trip to the snow

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Sep 2021, 9:47AM

Three Auckland essential workers have been arrested in Ōhakune after travelling to Turoa Ski Field. 

The three men were arrested after ski field staff became suspicious of the documentation they used to obtain a ski pass. 

The men travelled to Ōhakune on Wednesday after they used genuine essential worker passes allowing them to travel through the southern checkpoint. 

Inspector Nigel Allan, the police area commander for Whanganui Ruapehu, said two 23-year-olds and an 18-year-old have been charged with failing to comply with a directions/restriction/prohibition (Covid-19) and taking/obtaining/using a document for pecuniary advantage. 

The trio will appear in the Auckland District Court on September 23. 

After they were bailed, the three men were sent back to Auckland and local staff will be checking to ensure this has occurred. 

Allan called the behaviour of the men "unacceptable" from both a community and a police perspective. 

"We want to remind everyone that the restrictions in place are there to help keep everyone safe and reduce any spread of Covid-19 in the community." 

This week, William Willis, 35, whose mother is District Court Judge Mary-Beth Sharp, and lawyer Hannah Rawnsley, 26, issued an apology after declining to fight for further name suppression. 

Police said the couple left Auckland on Thursday, September 9, using essential worker exemptions to cross the boundary and drive to Hamilton Airport. 

They then took a commercial flight to Queenstown via Wellington and hired a car to drive to Wānaka, police said. 

A tipster alerted police to the trip through the Covid-19 online compliance tool and the couple were approached on Saturday afternoon, police said. 

The couple have since returned to Auckland. Auckland remains under alert level 4 — the most stringent Covid-19 lockdown — until at least next week, while the rest of New Zealand is in alert level 2.