By Ben Strang of RNZ

Police arrested six people for fighting and warned two people for breaching the nationwide lockdown after a gathering in Takanini overnight.

And while that fight was being dealt with, the police were unable to attend other reported breaches of the lockdown, including a large party in Papakura in which van loads of people were arriving from outside the local bubble.

Police are being stretched for resources as thousand of calls come through about parties and other breaches of the nationwide lockdown.


RNZ has talked to a man who reported the large gathering of people at a house party in Papakura overnight, but police failed to show.

On Saturday afternoon, cars and van loads of people started turning up to the house.

The neighbour first called the 105 police non-emergency line, and was told an officer would attend as soon as possible.

When the party only grew and got louder, the man called the 111 emergency number at about 10pm.

He called 111 again at about 3am, when he was then asked to call noise control.

He advised the 111 operator that noise control was closed during the lockdown, and that calls were diverted to the police.

No officers attended the house until Sunday afternoon after questions were sent through by RNZ.

"You know, you have empathy for them for what's going on," the neighbour said of the police.


"But as I said to the police, as long as you ask me to accept the fact that you couldn't attend, I'd ask you to put yourself in my shoes and ask yourself if you'd be the same if it was your mother, or your daughter who lived next door?"

Police respond

In a statement, the Counties Manukau South area commander, Inspector Dave Glossop, said his staff were not able to attend the call.

"However, police are making follow up enquiries at the address today and will be looking into this matter further," Glossop said.

"Over the duration of the lockdown period, police have received thousands of reports relating to alert level 4 restriction breaches and police have been following up this information, with enforcement action being taken in some instances."

Glossop said officers cannot attend every job but priority is given to jobs where there is an immediate risk to people or property.

"A number of our Counties Manukau officers were required to attend another report of a large gathering at an address in Takanini overnight where there were reports of people physically fighting.

"A total of six people were arrested at that address, however all but two of the people present were living at the property.

"Those two people were giving warnings in relation to the breach."

Glossop said the police are able to keep people safe during the lockdown, and follow up on breaches.

"Police are well-equipped to maintain order and public safety during this period and the public can expect to continue to see an increased police presence in the streets over this time.

"We continue to encourage anyone with concerns around lockdown breaches to contact police by phoning 105 or reporting online at"

The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, said there had been 847 breaches of the lockdown rules so far and 109 prosecutions.

Police had issued more than 700 warnings.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre