Two sisters who allegedly drove through a police checkpoint to get from Auckland to Northland have been remanded in custody, with a strong rebuke from a judge.
The first sister, aged 31, was charged with failing to comply with an order (under Covid-19 legislation) and resisting police and appeared in Whangārei District Court on Monday.
The second sister, aged 26, also appeared in the court, facing two counts of failing to stop for police (Covid-19-related), reckless driving, resisting police and failing to comply with an order (under Covid-19 legislation).
The pair appeared separately via AVL from Whangārei Police Station before Judge Deidre Orchard.
Police allege the sisters were in a Toyota car driven by the younger woman on Sunday when they were stopped at a police checkpoint near Wellsford around 7.10pm. The pair did not have a valid exemption to allow them to travel from Auckland - which is under Covid alert level 4 to Northland, which is under level 2 - and were told to return to Auckland.
However, it's alleged they drove through the checkpoint, fleeing police at speeds up to 140kmh, leading to police not pursuing the pair.
They were seen by police at the intersection of State Highway One and SH12 at Brynderwyn about 8.30pm, but again allegedly sped off. The car's tyres were spiked by police near Otaika and the car was allegedly driven for several hundred metres on its rims. It's alleged the car was driven onto the wrong side of the road, forcing oncoming traffic to evade the vehicle, with one oncoming car having to drive off the road.
Police caught up with the car on Kirikiri Rd, Whangārei, where it's alleged the car's doors were locked and the pair refused to come out, but they were both arrested.
In court Judge Orchard told the pair that she would not bail them to a Northland address and she wanted them to ''go back to Auckland.''
The judge said the Covid border restriction were in place for a very good reason -public safety to stop the spread of Covid - and the sisters were not above the law.
She remanded them in custody to reappear on Wednesday and told them to get bail addresses in Auckland, as well as the proposed Northland addresses. However, she said, the next judge that dealt with them may have a different view on bail.
It emerged in court that both sisters have had a Covid test while, in custody that came back negative.
''As far as I'm concerned they should be sent straight back to Auckland. I propose to remand them in custody for an Auckland District Court (to determine bail). They are posing a risk to Northland and they had no business coming up here,'' Judge Orchard said.
She said the sisters, who said they had been coming north to see a niece, had been living in Auckland and should be returned there.
''You are like everybody else, you have to comply with the rules relating to lockdown. The rules are there for a reason - public safety.''
Judge Orchard also remanded another alleged border breacher, a 25-year-old man, in custody and told him to look for an Auckland address to be bailed to.
The man was stopped by police driving on SH1 at Kauri, on Saturday, saying he was going to his girlfriend's place after being kicked out of his Auckland address.
Judge Orchard said that did not mean the rules no longer applied and he still had to abide by them.
She said bailing him to a Northland address would just encourage others to breach the border. The man was remanded in custody to October 4, but was given leave to apply for bail before then if he could find a suitable address.
The man had also returned a negative covid test while in custody.