The finer details of police-led checkpoints in Northland, supported by iwi volunteers, have been brought to light with just nine days to go.
Despite new revelations, some aspects of the planned checkpoints are still under construction such as what happens to Northlanders living south of them.
At midnight on December 15, four months of solitude will come to an end for Northland as the hard border with Auckland is lifted.
But police and Tai Tokerau Border Control volunteers will be at checkpoints on State Highway 1 near Uretiti Beach in Waipū, and in Maungatūroto come 11.59pm that same day.
They plan to meet the influx of Aucklanders, who can travel outside of the region if they are double vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test result from within the past 72 hours.
Tai Tokerau Border Control (TTBC) co-co-ordinator Rueben Taipari said the planned checkpoints would set the tone for a "safe" and "respectful" visit from holidaymakers.
Police, iwi, hapū in the affected areas, and the Northland District Health Board had collaborated on the checkpoints.
"Together, we're working on the message that we want our whānau to come home but we want them and everyone to be safe," Taipari said.
"Aucklanders can come here and have a nice holiday but a respectful and safe holiday."
The first aspect of the checkpoints would greet motorists in the North Shore and later in Wellsford in the form of roadside signs that remind people of the rules around travel and to be prepared.
Once visitors hit the checkpoints around 40km north of the regional boundary with Auckland they will be met with a mixture of 10 to 20 police officers and TTBC volunteers.
He added they would be able to deal with around 20 cars at a time.
The first question people will be asked is whether they have their My Vaccine Pass, Taipari said.
Anyone who answers yes will be ushered into the first of three separate lanes where their passports will be verified by official police scanners that can detect fakes.
They will also be asked for ID as part of the verification process.
"Once verified it's a case of, 'Thank you very much you've been very helpful - enjoy your time with us here in Northland'," Taipari said.
He encouraged people to have their vaccine passports ready to help hasten the process.
Visitors without a passport will be directed to a second channel, out of the way, where they will be asked to provide proof of a recent negative Covid test taken within the past 72 hours and supporting ID.
Taipari said they will have zero time for anyone "trying it on" with false test results.
The penalty for intentionally failing to comply with a Covid-19 order, thereby committing a criminal offence, is, on conviction, a fine of up to $12,000 or six months' imprisonment.
Taipari said as an absolute last resort people without a negative Covid test, in some instances, may be pulled into a third lane on the roadside to undergo a swab with an hour or two-hour turnaround time.
Compliant holidaymakers will be given a sticker - jointly created between authorities - to place on their windscreen that shows they legitimately entered the region.
"When those people go into the community it alleviates anxiety for locals and it makes the relationships and interactions so much better," Taipari said.
He acknowledged that thousands of people were destined for Northland over the coming months but said the police and TTBC preparation for the influx was well under way.
"We're looking forward to everyone coming home after 20 months. This way everybody's health and safety and that of our most vulnerable is still the focus of our cause.
"Everybody was freaking out saying, 'How are you going to stop 10,000 cars without the police' but we were never going to go out there without a partnership," Taipari said.
And they were never going to forgo their right to demand a solution that protected "those of our community who were still making their minds up or who were still unsure what this is about".
Taipari said they were following local advice from Northland communities south of the checkpoint about how best to accommodate their daily movements north.
The Advocate has contacted Northland police for comment.
There were no new Covid cases in Northland yesterday. Instead, of the 135 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand on Monday, 125 were in Auckland, eight in Waikato and two in Canterbury (first announced on Sunday).
The total number of confirmed cases in Northland is 92, with 12 active cases in home isolation and 80 cases recovered. There are no cases currently in hospital.
There were 229 vaccinations administered on Sunday. Of which 68 were first doses, 145 were second doses and 16 were booster shots.
Around 86 per cent of eligible Northlanders have received one dose and 79 per cent are fully vaccinated.