Northland police are sending holidaymakers home if they're caught breaching lockdown rules but do not plan on setting up checkpoints while the whole country is at alert level 4.
Police set up roadblocks at Northland's southern border during the Auckland lockdown in February this year, but at that time Northland and Auckland were at different alert levels.
Despite concerns from people in coastal settlements such as Matapōuri about an influx of visitors since the snap lockdown, police say most people have followed instructions to stay home.
Senior Sergeant Brian Swann, of Northland police, said compliance had on the whole been "very good".
"There have been isolated incidents and we've been working with people to correct their behaviour. When we're coming across people in campervans with a home address that's out of the district we're pushing them back ... but obviously there are some people who live in their vehicles so, in conjunction with the council, we're pointing out places where they can park up for a while."
Police had also responded to incidents with people not wearing masks — mask use has been mandatory in many settings as of Thursday — but had so far taken an educational approach, explaining the reasons and warning people of the need to comply.
Swann confirmed reports that officers had encountered people travelling from Devonport, where the first Delta variant was detected.
"We have had one or two people from down that way who have been spoken to and advised to get tested if they are symptomatic. There are a lot of people with holiday homes up here — some were here before lockdown, others tried to sneak up afterwards. As long as they are observing lockdown wherever they are, we're not going to be kicking them out of holiday homes."
Northlanders could expect to keep seeing significant numbers of police on the roads, with many staff redirected to visibility and enforcement roles.
So far there had been no arrests in Northland for Covid-related incidents, Swann said.
However, Police were called to a Whangārei address on Wednesday night to disperse a gathering linked to a tangihanga. "Quite a number" of funeral-goers had been at the address for several days, including before the alert level shift.
"They hadn't left Auckland to get away from lockdown," he said.
When police arrived they found some people had been drinking and were unable to drive home, but the officers took measures to ensure the gathering dispersed and people returned home with a reminder of the level 4 rules.
While police haven't set up official checkpoints, that hasn't stopped some communities restricting access.
On Thursday Ngāti Kura hapū announced road access to the beach at Matauri Bay was closed during alert level 4.
"Unless it is walking distance from your home, it's a no-go," the hapū stated.
Number plates of any vehicles seen breaching lockdown rules would be passed on to police.
Nationally, police received 684 breach notifications from 11.59pm on Tuesday,
when online breach reporting began, to 5pm on Wednesday. Of those, 322 were about a gathering, 320 about a business and 42 about an individual. About a third were in the Auckland area.
Unfortunately, the lockdown doesn't mean all Northland's would-be criminals are staying home.
Two youths were caught trying to a steal car from an address at Waiotira Rd, Mangapai shortly before 5am on Thursday.
The homeowner nabbed the pair and held them until police arrived.
Swann urged people to be careful when intervening in a crime.
"Some of these people can be armed and are sometimes willing to use force to get away. Making a lot of noise is usually enough as people don't want to get caught."
• You can report suspected lockdown breaches by calling police on 105 or, if it's a serious breach such as a large party, 111. You can also lodge a report online at www.police.govt.nz/105support