A protest against borders separating the Far North and the rest of the region was a "storm in a teacup", say police.
Around 50 people congregated on the Kāeo checkpoint yesterday morning as part of a peaceful demonstration led by former Social Credit candidate for Northland Brad Flutey.
Their actions came on the same day the Ministry of Health announced a new Covid case in Northland.
It was the third new case announced over the weekend. On Friday, the Northland District Health Board (NDHB) confirmed two cases that were later included in the Ministry's update on Saturday.
The district health board said in a written statement that the three cases were close contacts of the Kaitaia cluster and had been isolating since they were told of their connection to the active cases.
Public health interviews concluded there were no new locations of interest related to the three additional cases.
Northland's total number of Covid cases linked to the current outbreak is 18, of which 11 had recovered at edition time.
While information about Sunday's protest shared online hinted at an assertive stand, Northland police say it was dispersed efficiently without issue.
The post shared across social media stated Tai Tokerau Border Control organiser Hone Harawira and "the Crown" had until noon on Saturday to remove "unlawful borders in Te Tai Tokerau".
"...per the demand made by We The People, we will take it upon ourselves to allow those in the motu to exercise their Tino Rangatiratanga and Turangawaewae without pointless interference."
The plan was to meet at Kensington Park in Whangārei at 5am and join with other groups dotted along the journey to their Kāeo destination, where they intended to negotiate with border control.
According to the information, police were informed about the protest and its intentions before it unfolded.
"The police and Hone are to cede to We The People, if we vastly outnumber those who turn up to promote the continuation of the border."
Senior Sergeant Pat Davis, of Northland Police, said there were no confrontations as the group gathered at a rest stop at the top of Kāeo Hill, dubbed Chicken Stop, spoke to police and local iwi representatives.
"They turned up, had a yarn...and everybody's gone home, that's it," Davis said. "It was a big storm in a teacup."
He praised local iwi for their help in resolving the matter, as they reportedly had kuia and kaumātua ready at the border to speak with demonstrators.
Davis said the north side of the Kāeo bridge had been briefly blocked as protesters organised themselves.
Currently, 81 per cent (130,276) of eligible Northlanders have received a first dose, and 68 per cent (109,565) are fully vaccinated.
Fifty-two third doses have been administered in the region.
Saturday saw 1,256 vaccinations administered, of which 371 were first doses and 882 second doses. Three were third doses provided to severely immunocompromised people aged 12 and over.
Northland DHB continued to urge people in or around the Taipa, Kaingaroa, Awanui and Kaitaia areas who were or are symptomatic to get tested as soon as possible.
There were 665 tests carried out in Northland on Saturday, up to 6am on Sunday. Since October 6, 33,867 have been undertaken - 16,221 of which since October 21.