The search to find the identity of a lone paraglider breaching lockdown restrictions while flying around Mount Maunganui in alert level 4 has gained traction and gravitas.
The local paragliding association has condemned the paraglider's actions and will recommend they be disciplined by the national body.
Pictures of the sunset paraglider were captured by Mount Maunganui resident Sarah Crisp at about 5.45pm on Monday.
"We were just sitting in the house when we looked out of the window and we could see the paraglider.
"We realised the paraglider was circling up and down the Mount for 15 to 20 minutes and started to get closer and closer. I thought there was going to be a landing on the beach."
Crisp said she was not personally offended by the paraglider's actions "but I just thought it was a bit bold of that person to paraglide and be on display for everyone during lockdown".
"I would've thought if anyone was going to [breach lockdown rules] they'd do it in a covert location. It almost felt like a statement."
Crisp said everyone had a role to play during this lockdown, and smaller actions such as wearing masks and social distancing were most important.
Bay of Plenty Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association president Kevin Wylie felt more strongly about the paraglider's actions and was in the process of hunting down the person's identity.
"It's certainly condemned by our club and by our members. This is really disappointing and will be relayed to the national body. They have a disciplinary process which we will be recommending."
Wylie said the paraglider mocked not just the lockdown restrictions by their actions but they also accessed Mauao, which remained closed under level 4.
"They've elected to flout both of these things and we are concerned that the public may judge us all by this person's actions," Wylie said.
"We would all like to be up there flying but everyone else I've spoken to accepts the rules and are abiding by them. This one person has elected to not do that."
Wylie said the club has already identified certain characteristics of the glider which has narrowed the search for the person down.
"We are going through a range of options to establish who it is."
A police spokeswoman said the incident was not reported to them but wanted to remind people that exercise should be in their neighbourhood only, and adhering to social distancing rules.
Any recreational activity that could lead to a rescue or emergency response is not permitted, the spokeswoman said.
This included, but was not limited to, activities such as surfing, snowboarding, tramping, fishing and whitebaiting.
A Taupō mountain biker recently fell on a track and had to be winched out by a rescue helicopter.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said yesterday that officers would be speaking to the rider at a later date "and enforcement action for breaching restrictions will be considered".
The police spokeswoman said there was no update yet.
The paraglider's cruise came after police reveal 29 people were charged for breaking level 4 restrictions since the lockdown began and 5pm Sunday country-wide.
Police also issued 16 formal warnings and 31 infringement notices locally in the same time period.
Police began issuing infringements for Covid-19-related breaches from Thursday last week, August 19.
As at 5pm on August 22, police had issued 365 infringements nationwide:
• Person failed to remain at current home/residence – 328
• Person failed to wear a face-covering on premises – 15
• Person failed to comply with applicable physical distancing rule – 13
• Obstruct/Hinder Medical Officer of Health or Person Assisting Med Officer
• Person failed to wear a face-covering on public transport – 2
• Person in control of premises failed to close as required – 1