You're never too old to get a telling-off from your mum.

That's what former Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira found out after apparently breaking lockdown by taking a 640km round trip to Auckland on Easter Sunday.

Several readers contacted the Advocate after Harawira posted photos from his breakfast in Auckland on his Facebook page, pointing out the ex-MP had set up roadblocks around Northland to stop unnecessary travel and potential spread of the Covid-19 virus.

However, Harawira has defended the trip, saying he drove to Auckland to carry out essential tasks such as collecting medical equipment for his Covid-19 checkpoints.

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Replying to a query on Facebook about what made him ''so special to travel around'', Harawira gave a breakdown of the purpose of his road trip:

''Travelling to 1) check out a Māori (Covid-19) testing centre, 2) get advice on testing our people, 3) view PPE (personal protective equipment) gear options, 4) set up a direct contact for PPE gear and 5) pick up a range of medical supplies for our checkpoints.''

He drove straight down to Auckland and straight home to Waimanoni, ''but a man's gotta eat and I'm blessed to have whānau support at both ends'.'

His sister, a registered nurse, ensured hygiene protocols were followed during breakfast in Auckland. Sanitiser, a bowl of washing water and towels can be seen in the foreground of one of the photos.

His sister had cooked the meal and left it on the verandah of her home, then spoke to him over the fence from their mother's home next door.

It is understood Harawira collected medical supplies from George Ngatai's Whānau Ora Community Clinic in South Auckland. Ngatai also operates Kaeo's GP services.

Harawira laughed loudly when NZME asked him what his mother, the indomitable Ngāpuhi matriarch Titewhai Harawira, had said when she saw him.

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''She was telling me off, saying 'You should be staying in Kaitaia!'"

She accepted his explanation that he needed to pick up medical supplies.

Harawira’s sister, a registered nurse, ensured hygiene protocols were followed during breakfast in Auckland. Photo / supplied
Harawira’s sister, a registered nurse, ensured hygiene protocols were followed during breakfast in Auckland. Photo / supplied

Harawira told NZME he and a colleague had been doing essential work as part of his role as the leader of Tai Tokerau Border Control.

The group had set up checkpoints at various points around the Far North to turn back tourists, as well as people travelling from Auckland to visit whānau.

The purpose was to keep vulnerable people safe, especially the elderly with pre-existing health conditions, he said.

Checkpoint locations have included Waiomio, Mangamuka, Cable Bay, Kaeo Hill and Hokianga. Some checkpoints, such as Waitangi and Kaikohe, are still operating daily.

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Harawira's original Facebook post has been shared widely and attracted comments both criticising his trip and praising his checkpoint initiative.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website