Northland MP Matt King has called on the police to uphold the law and shut down illegal road checkpoints.

Mr King said he had heard from a growing number of Northlanders who were feeling intimidated and harassed at illegal checkpoints that had been set up by "local vigilantes" across the Mid and Far North.

"We live under New Zealand law, and vigilante groups can't just make up their own rules, however well-intentioned," he said.

"Police must intervene and protect those who are just trying to go about their lawful business, including food shopping or moving to essential employment.


"I encourage everyone to stay in their bubble and respect social distancing rules, and for the police to get these illegal checkpoints under control."

Meanwhile volunteers set up a Covid-19 checkpoint on the Hokianga ferry over Easter, co-ordinator Richard Nahi saying Kohukohu residents had been concerned that a combination of the long weekend and free ferry transport during the lockdown could lead to an influx of visitors from the South Hokianga. No tourists were identified, but a few people had tried to cross the harbour to visit family members.

Mr Nahi said the checkpoint volunteers had had no power to turn people around, but informed the ferry crew, who "did their job well."

The main role of the checkpoint had been to offer information about travel restrictions, testing stations and Covid-19 symptoms, while the volunteers, a mix of Māori and Pākehā, were supplied with proper protective gear. Further checkpoints were planned, at random times and locations.

The Kohukohu area had a high proportion of elderly people who were particularly vulnerable to the virus, Mr Nahi added.

Another checkpoint, manned by volunteers, popped up on board the Hokianga ferry over Easter. Picture / Supplied