A travel ban should have been maintained by the Government for Aucklanders leaving the city, University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker says.
Baker's comments come after the organiser of a conference held in Queenstown - which includes Aucklanders as guests - says it is going ahead despite calls from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for travelling Aucklanders to avoid mass gatherings.
The Morgo conference is being held at the Heritage Hotel tomorrow and Friday and is aimed at tech companies working to expand offshore.
While within the rules, holding a conference or a similar event with Auckland guests appeared to contravene Ardern's comments, Prof Baker said.
"It's not in the spirit of our Prime Minister's recommendation that people head off from Auckland and go to conferences."
Given Auckland was the centre of the outbreak, people from the city should "question everything they are doing in terms of whether it is exposing others to risk", he said.
However, it was dangerous to put the onus on individuals to act responsibly and instead the Government needed to mandate safe behaviour - such as limiting travel from Auckland.
"The Government is there to make these hard calls."
Morgo conference organiser Jenny Morel did not say how many Aucklanders were attending the event, but pointed out rules on the Government's Unite against Covid-19 website and said visits to public and event venues were not "social gatherings".
This specifically included visits to conference venues.
"It is social gatherings that are restricted to 10 people in Auckland and therefore of concern to the Government," Morel said.
"However, events such as Morgo - conferences - are not restricted beyond the standard Level 2 protocols and allow for 100 people anywhere in New Zealand.
"This means that we could even run Morgo with 100 people in Auckland in compliance with the regulations.
"The travel requirements also say don't travel to events that don't meet the level 2 requirements, which Morgo does," Morel said.
There was no reference to mass gatherings on the government website, which instead talked about limits on social gatherings.
Southern District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Susan Jack said her organisation acknowledged conference venues and hotels would want to get back to business as much as possible.
That was "important for both the region's economy and the wellbeing of the wider community", she said.
However, Jack said Southern DHB asked all those in Queenstown involved in mass gatherings, including conferences, to adhere to the guidelines for events at level 2.
"Our expectation is that conference organisers need to manage this situation."