Forty per cent of Hawke's Bay residents forgot their mask for their early morning bus commute on Monday morning.
That's despite Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Government making face masks mandatory for anyone aged 12 and over while on public transport at alert level 2 from August 31.
Those failing to wear them without reasonable excuse risk instant $300 fines from police or could be fined up to $1000 imposed through the courts.
A regional council spokeswoman said about noon on Monday the council had seen about 60 per cent of people on buses in Hawke's Bay wearing them across the morning.
It expects this percentage to increase over the week.
Napier men Chris Harawira, Alex Byers and Stuart Ahchu catch Go Bay buses to and from Napier frequently and were among those who did heed the public health message.
"I'm happy to wear one, we all have to do our part," Harawira said.
"It can get a bit annoying after a while but you just have to do the right thing by everyone."
Harawira has blue medical masks to wear which he will replace for each of his weekly bus trips into town.
Byers has enjoyed finding a mask and said "there's some really cool ones out there" and "they're really good to have".
Since his mask had gotten wet on Monday morning, he was using his jumper as a make shift mask for the ride back home.
Ahchu had fashioned his own mask from some kitchen cloth.
"The situation is going to get worse before it gets better, so it's [mask wearing] just about keeping everyone safe," he said.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council transport co-ordinator Megan Welsby said the council was happy with the mask wearing they had seen on Monday.
At the main bus stop in Napier on Dalton St the council observed about 10 people waiting, all wearing masks.
On buses about 60 per cent of people were wearing them, she said.
"Like the rest of the country, we know that this week is about education and we expect it to get better over the week."
All Go Bay bus drivers are wearing masks and reminding passengers to wear them, she said.
A police spokesperson said that police have been at Intercity stops across the Eastern District on Monday and there had not been any issues reported.
At level 2 masks do not need to be worn by children under 12, on school buses, on charter or group tours, on interisland ferries, on private scenic flights, by passengers of small passenger vehicles or by people with a disability or physical or mental health condition which makes it difficult to wear a face covering.
Drivers and transport operators are not stopping people without face coverings from boarding public transport.