A high-profile philanthropist has escaped police charges and instead faced only a lengthy police telling off for having had five people to her house on separate occasions for drinks in her carport during level 4 lockdown.
Arts patron Dame Jenny Gibbs said she held three separate socially distanced meetings in her carport on swanky Paritai Drive in Ōrākei.
A police spokesman confirmed that police attended a Paritai Drive address on Sunday evening after a report was received about a gathering taking place.
"The gathering reportedly occurred some days earlier. However, in this instance Police have taken a graduated response and the occupant was spoken to at length about the restrictions and why they are in place," the spokesman said.
"Police reminded the occupant that any travel from a person's home should be for a permitted reason only, such as accessing an essential service or for exercise in their local area."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week that even as Auckland transitions into alert level 3 from midnight, household bubbles remain in place.
New Zealanders legally must stay within household bubbles whenever they are not at work or school, and bubbles must stay as small as possible.
People cannot invite friends, whānau and extended family who are not in their bubble to their homes.
Dame Jenny had earlier told the Herald that while people had visited her property on several occasions, she believed she had followed all restrictions carefully.
Her daughter, who lives locally, had visited on her birthday and sat in the carport. Dame Jenny sat by the front door, four metres away, and they each had a glass of wine which was "very socially distanced", she said.
On another day the deputy director and director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Kirsten Lacy and Tom Irvine - who share a bubble - had also popped over for a glass of wine in the carport.
On a third occasion she made coffee and left it in the carport for two friends who shared a bubble - again, they had spoken but at a distance.
The carport opened on to the road as well as onto the property, and was visible from the front door.
The 81-year-old believed the visits were acceptable under level 4 rules.
"I think so because we're well apart and outside ... We were very socially distanced," she said.
"There are people out and about and around the place all the time. Outside and staying several metres apart. I mean I take my dogs for a walk twice a day, and there's hordes of people around and we stop and chat sometimes."
She was not aware of anyone reporting the matter but confirmed two officers visited her property this afternoon to check the arrangement, and had told her it was within the rules.
"I can show them where the chair is way out in my carport, that's miles away from where I am at the front," she said.
"I do not believe that sitting four metres apart outside is breaching any rules. I see people much closer than that on the [Okahu Bay] beach down the road."
A spokeswoman for the art gallery told the Herald Lacy and Irvine, along with their respective households, were part of one bubble.
On September 15 the pair had travelled - within their bubble - to deliver a food parcel to a family in Ōrākei, she said.
"As part of the same journey and still within the same area, birthday flowers were delivered to Dame Jenny Gibbs, a member of the Gallery's Advisory Committee.
"The three – Kirsten and Tom in their bubble, and Dame Jenny in her bubble – remained socially distanced."