People trying to sneak into holiday hotspots for Easter during lockdown could be met by checkpoints and told by the police manning them to go home.
Among growing concerns that holidaygoers are creeping into their baches under the cover of darkness despite the country being in lockdown, authorities are working on plans to stop them.
The Herald understands checkpoints are being considered at holiday hotspots across the country.
Waikato district mayor Allan Sanson, who also chairs the Waikato mayoral forum, said there was growing concern that people would be turning up to their holiday homes during Easter and the local communities did not have the capacity to deal with them.
Sanson confirmed the Waikato Emergency Management Office group controller Julian Snowball was considering sanctioning checkpoints intercepting people heading to popular Waikato beach spots such as Port Waikato, Raglan, Kawhia, Whiritoa and the Coromandel.
Sanson said, if they went ahead, the checkpoints would not be "draconian" and people entering the areas would be asked a couple of simple questions such as where they going, where had they come from and where had they been living for the last three weeks.
He said if it was not in the beach town they were heading they would likely be told to go home.
Sanson said the Waikato Mayoral Forum, comprising the Waikato mayors and regional council chair, would support whatever informed decision the group controller made.
"Sandra Goudie (Thames Coromandel mayor) and I have the same issue with influx. We know that in the dead of night people are sneaking into those communities.
"Those communities are struggling with resources themselves without an influx of people. It is pretty important that people respect that."
Sanson expected to be updated on any decision on Tuesday afternoon when the Waikato mayors were next due to hear from the group controller.
Hauraki mayor Toby Adams, whose district includes holiday destination Whiritoa, was aware there could be checkpoints in place on the roads between Thames and Kopu-Hikuai and between Whangamata and Waihi.
Adams' preference was the checkpoints be manned by police who had enforcement powers rather than Civil Defence civilians who had no authority.
Thames Coromandel District mayor Sandra Goudie said she had been asking for roadblocks or checkpoints for several weeks and was pleased it was now being seriously considered.
Goudie said TCDC had the largest over-65 population which put them more at risk. This combined with the current drought, high fire risk and skeleton rescue crews and more water sources could be the most affected areas in terms of how an influx of people could further exasperate the situation.
Members of her community had also started a petition calling on roadblocks to be installed to keep people out.
A spokesperson for Waikato Civil Defence Emergency control group said while considerations such as checkpoints were "naturally" part of civil defence emergency management, the current focus was through education and positive messaging.
This was being reinforced in a new "Don't be an egg" campaign, that was also being rolled out across radio and on signs, discouraging people from travelling during Easter. A sign conveying the same message had already been installed at the entrance to Raglan.
Police have been approached for comment.