Gang members crossing the Auckland border with their boot stuffed with KFC and cash, an Aucklander travelling to Christchurch to pick up a newly bought caravan and another Aucklander using a forged exemption to visit Taranaki - those are among the latest high-profile allegations that have seen people charged this week with violating Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
But police still haven't laid charges in the most closely watched breach allegation: Wānaka holidaymakers William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley, who one week ago today admitted wrongdoing in a public apology.
When asked about the Wānaka case on Tuesday, police reissued a statement from last week, explaining there is nothing further to add.
"Police appreciates there is a high amount of public interest in this case and we can assure our community that Police is carrying out a thorough investigation into this matter," the statement reads.
"Every breach we come across is assessed individually to determine what inquiries need to be carried out. Some breach reports require more inquiries to be made than others and these can take some time to be completed. At this stage Police is still making inquiries and we are not able to comment further while it is under investigation."
Eighty-seven people have been charged in Auckland with Covid-19-related offences between the start of the city's strict alert level 4 lockdown last month and yesterday evening. The vast majority of the charges have been for failing to comply with an order under the Covid -19 Public Health Response Act, which carries a maximum punishment of six months' jail and a $4000 fine.
In the same time period, 189 people were issued formal warnings.
As Auckland prepares for slightly looser restriction in alert level 3, which begins Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today fines will be increased to up to $12,000 for those who breach Covid-19 rules.
Among the latest court cases is a 31-year-old man who suffered a medical event on Saturday at a petrol station in Inglewood, a town about 16km southeast of New Plymouth - and about 375km south of the Auckland suburb Bayview, which is listed as his home address.
A police spokesperson told the Herald on Tuesday that authorities spoke with the man at Taranaki Base Hospital over the weekend after he allegedly told medical staff he had arrived from Auckland a few days earlier.
"Following further inquiries it is alleged the Auckland man had used a forged document to enable him to cross over the alert level boundary," the spokesperson said.
The man is scheduled to make his first court appearance next month on charges of failing to follow an order under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act and using a forged Covid-19 travel exemption document, which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years' prison.
He has tested negative for Covid-19, police said.
Another person, 20, was arrested yesterday for what police characterised as a "cowardly assault" on a 70-year-old fellow customer at a Pukekohe supermarket on Sunday after the younger man was asked to wear a mask.
And two other men, 25 and 26, were issued infringement notices overnight after police said they caught one of the men hiding in the boot of a car attempting to cross a checkpoint at Auckland's southern border.
Other high-profile lockdown violation cases of late that have resulted in arrests include:
• A 53-year-old arrested at Wellington's ferry terminal last night after police said he crossed Cook Strait with a caravan he'd bought in Christchurch, after misusing work exemption to leave Auckland.
• A woman, 24, and man, 41, arrested in Wellington on Saturday after allegedly travelling from Auckland.
• Two Aucklander accused on Friday of using false documents to visit Taupō.
• Three essential workers from Auckland allegedly caught at Mt Ruapehu's Turoa Ski Field last Wednesday.
• A man who last week boasted on TikTok of making a cross-border McDonald's run.
• Two gang associates accused of trying to flee police on a gravel road near the lockdown border. The pair were later found to have over $100,000 in cash in the car and a boot full of KFC, police said.
All of the allegations and arrests have happened in the time since September 11, when Willis, 35, and Rawnsley, 26, were approached by police in Wānaka - one day after someone reported to police that the couple had used exemptions under false pretences to leave Auckland for a holiday home.
"We are deeply sorry for our actions and would like to unreservedly apologise to the Wānaka community, and to all the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, for what we did," the couple said in a statement issued to the media last Tuesday evening, after giving up on their short-lived fight for name suppression.
"We understand that strict compliance is required to stamp out Covid-19 from our country. We have let everyone down with our actions, and we wholeheartedly apologise."
There are several reasons the Wānaka case maybe taking longer to investigate than others, retired University of Auckland law professor Bill Hodge suggested last week, pointing out that Willis is the son of a district court judge, Rawnsley is a lawyer herself and the pair have hired a QC to represent them even though charges have not yet been filed.
"If you're dealing with the son or daughter of a judge, you don't want to make any procedural mistakes - that's for sure," he said, adding that police appear to be "taking great care" to make sure they get the strongest case, "as we would hope they would".
The Wānaka case would also involve an investigator tracing a person's steps through multiple cities and businesses, including two airports and a car rental agency in Queenstown, Hodge speculated.
"It's potentially a lot more complicated - they want to make sure they can show the pre-meditation," Hodge said. "If there's tracking that you can follow from one airport to another to a rental car agency, I think that it would take a lot longer as opposed to an idiot who says, 'Let's drive over the hill and go to McDonald's'."
The day after the couple were confronted, police indicated the couple would be "prosecuted for breaching the current Health Order, by failing to return to their place of residence within the alert level 4 area after leaving for approved essential personal movement" and would be issued a court summons within a week.
But a police representative took a more cautious approach days later, informing a judge overseeing the couple's name suppression request that the case might be delayed due to Covid-19 alert level restrictions.
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult told the Herald Friday he's not too concerned if police take their time, as long as charges are filed.
"I can say if action wasn't taken against this couple, there would be a high degree of unhappiness in our part of the world," he said.