The Far North has woken up once again to another morning of level 4 Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and community leaders are urging people to heed the health warnings and stick to the rules.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday afternoon that Auckland and Coromandel would go into level 4 lockdown for seven days, and the rest of the country - including the Far North - for three days, from 11.59pm Tuesday night.
The move came after a 58-year-old Devonport man on Auckland's North Shore tested positive on Tuesday after visiting a GP. He was infectious from August 12.
The man, who wasn't vaccinated, and his wife travelled to Coromandel over the weekend.
His wife was fully vaccinated. There is no obvious link to the border at this stage.
It was the first community positive case in New Zealand in169 days.
Far North District Council Mayor John Carter said people needed to remember to be respectful and considerate towards each other during this time.
''My one message is this: be sensible, be courteous, be respectful, stay calm and remember that we're here to support our fellow citizens," Mayor Carter said.
"People must remember to stay within their immediate bubble during level 4 and to always respect whatever restriction level they're in.
"Don't forget to wear a face mask and remember social distancing when out and use the Ministry of Health's Covid Tracer app if you travel anywhere.
"We need to make it a habit again as people have gotten used to not doing it.
"Finally, if you're feeling unwell, go and get checked out immediately."
Mayor Carter said the Far North District Council Covid-19 response was in alignment with the rest of the country's measures and they would be following the evolving situation closely.
There were also concerns about people leaving Auckland city Tuesday night to beat the lockdown there to head to their baches in Northland.
Those concerns seemed indeed valid with as many as 500 cars an hour recorded heading north on State Highway 1 on Tuesday evening, according to the group behind the last lockdown's Covid checkpoints.
Rueben Taipari, coordinator of Te Tai Tokerau Border Control, said he drove down SH1 after the lockdown was announced.
''We knew there was going to be a s***load of cars out there, and sure enough. All those boats and clowns going to their holiday homes. We're pissed off.''
Taipari said SH1 was ''chocka'' at Pakaraka with traffic turning off at SH10 and heading up the east coast.
Towai, south of Kawakawa, was also busy, and a traffic count at the Ruakākā roundabout on SH1 showed 400-500 cars an hour were heading north.
The exodus slowed as the night wore on but after midnight it was still about 100 an hour. It only stopped after 2am, Taipari said.
The group saw only two police vehicles all night.
With so little notice of the lockdown, and late confirmation that it was the Delta variant, it was not possible to set up checkpoints in time.
''Without sharing information and working together it's a waste of time doing all this other stuff. A lockdown? They just told everybody they've got a holiday for seven days.''
Taipari called on people to abide by the level 4 rules, especially given Northland's vulnerable population.
''If we stop moving around, the virus won't spread. It's the Delta variant so it's very serious. Please, everybody, just stay home.''
The self-declared Te Tai Tokerau Border Control (TTBC) was set up last year by former MP Hone Harawira amid concerns about people heading to Northland holiday spots during the first lockdown.
Police later set up their own roadblocks and in some cases joined forces with TTBC to make those checkpoints legal.
Mayor Carter said while he was not aware of that occurring, he again requested people remain calm and respectful.
"I haven't heard anything about people trying to get through the borders, but if that is the case then it's disappointing and I urge all citizens wherever they are to remain respectful of each other."
Level 4 rules:
■ Stay at home in your bubble.
■ You can leave your home to:
■ Shop for essential goods
■ Exercise in your neighbourhood
■ Receive necessary medical care
■ To get a Covid test
■ Wear a mask and maintain social distancing of 2 metres in public