Former Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says statistics showing only 700 cars out of 50,000 have been turned back at Auckland checkpoints are ''bloody frightening''.
During the lockdown earlier this year Harawira founded the self-styled Tai Tokerau Border Control, which set roadblocks around the Far North in a bid to stop illegal travel.
They were dismantled when level 3 was lifted in Northland but the ex-MP says his crews are ready to set up again if needed.
From last Wednesday, when the Auckland lockdown was announced to help contain the virus, authorities had allowed 50,000 vehicles to leave the city, he said.
''We're not panicking, but those statistics are bloody frightening. So we've briefed our crews, we're talking to Tai Tokerau iwi, Northland police and health authorities, and if we have to go, we're prepared.''
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
A team from Tai Tokerau Border Control travelled to Te Hana, just north of Wellsford, last week to check out the police-run State Highway 1 checkpoint but found it ''slack''.
"The rules say you can travel for medical reasons, moving home, moving freight or you're an essential worker — but they let people drop furniture off, go and visit people, drop people off, pick people up, go and see their animals, travel up from places south of Auckland. Hell, they let one guy through on a house-bus who'd driven all the way up from Invercargill, and then said he'd isolate for two weeks when he got to Whangārei."
Harawira said police had been too accommodating, allowing people through who should have been turned back.
He was also concerned by claims by NZ Public Party founder Billy Te Kahika that Covid-19 was a hoax, and that people should march against the lockdown like US president Donald Trump's supporters had done in the US.
Harawira urged Northlanders not to jeopardise the lives of their whānau, and his ''border control'' crews to be ready to ''go fast and hard'' if they were needed again.
Meanwhile, police announced yesterday they were adding three more checkpoints around Auckland, bringing the total to 13. All the new checkpoints are in South Auckland.
The northern checkpoints are located at SH1/Mangawhai Rd, Mangawhai Rd/north of Coal Hill Rd, Mangawhai Rd/Ryan Rd, Mangawhai Rd/Cames Rd and Black Swamp west of Rako Rd.