Matauri Bay residents concerned about potential spread of Covid-19 are turning away lockdown breakers and passing their details to the police.
Mounting frustration over people visiting the beachside settlement during alert level 4 restrictions prompted the local hapū, Ngāti Kura, to close access to the beach for the duration of the lockdown.
''Unless it is walking distance from your home, it's a no go. All number plates will be sent through to NZ police,'' the announcement read.
Dannie Samuels-Thomas, who said she had been appointed by kaumātua and kuia as the hapu's border control representative, said outsiders had been driving 45 minutes or more to visit the beach.
''It's just arrogance, and it isn't restricted just to the beach. They're walking up through where locals live [at the southern end of beach] and strolling wherever the heck they like.''
Residents agreed on Thursday morning to announce the beach closure.
Samuels-Thomas said she had turned away 15 vehicles between Wednesday morning and 2pm on Thursday. Two of those were campervans which appeared to have been planning a longer stay.
Friday was quieter — perhaps because word was getting out — with just two cars sent away around noon.
No checkpoint or barrier was planned at this stage.
Instead, she was approaching arrivals and reminding them of the rules. Locals would alert her if a car turned up when she wasn't on patrol.
She had been surprised by the level of complacency she encountered about the virus, but most people she spoke to had been cooperative.
''They're understanding and don't want conflict. They see you coming and they already know they're in the wrong. By the time you reach them they say, 'We know, we're sorry, we'll head off now'.''
STORY CONTINUES AFTER LIVE BLOG
She believed the way she approached people, and the fact she was wearing a Tai Tokerau Border Control jacket, avoided potential conflict.
Only two visitors had so far refused to leave.
She had photographed their number plates and passed the information to police.
''Most people say we're just getting some fresh air and exercise, but exercise is considered walking distance from your home — not hopping in your vehicle and travelling 45 minutes, then going for a wander on the beach.''
Campervan users had told her they were able to move around because the vehicle was their home.
Samuels-Thomas, however, said they were still supposed to return to their point of origin within 48 hours — or find a place to park up and stay there.
In any case, there was no freedom camping at Matauri Bay and the motor camp was closed, with the only people allowed to stay those who arrived well before lockdown.
Locals' concerns about Covid-19 stemmed from the number of vulnerable kuia and kaumātua living at Matauri Bay.
''This is our home, we're entitled to feel as safe as we can. Please just sit tight and be respectful of others.''
The road to the beach crosses private land so could be closed if locals decide to do so.
Meanwhile, residents in Houhora — a popular holiday spot about 50km north of Kaitaia — have set up a Facebook group to share information about out-of-towners breaching the lockdown rules.