Police are investigating yet another Covid-19 breach, this time a high-profile Aucklander who allegedly crossed the alert level 4 boundary and travelled to Queenstown.
The inquiry is under way as Health Minister Andrew Little says level 4 lockdowns are unlikely in future if New Zealand's vaccination rate climbs above 90 per cent.
The Otago Daily Times was contacted by a person who wished to remain anonymous. The person alleged the Aucklander had attended a gathering in the resort last weekend and had holed up at a Queenstown Airbnb property.
The person further alleged the Aucklander had been spending time with two other Queenstown residents and not isolating.
A police media spokeswoman said they were aware of the complaint.
"Police are following up with the person involved to determine if any breach of the Health Act has occurred."
No further information was available yesterday.
Meanwhile, Little told Newshub Nation that Auckland's Covid case numbers looked promising.
In response to the case of the truck driver in the Waikato, he said the advice was that he took all the right precautions and they were not seeing anything concerning at this stage.
He said level 3 was seen as a shorter-term transition between level 4 and level 2.
When pushed if level 3 would be longer than a fortnight, he said they would "take the numbers as they come".
Looking to a future where most New Zealanders were vaccinated, Little said he was attracted to the Australian model, which involved more people being able to recover at home than in hospitals.
Questioned about a possible mandate of vaccinations, he said it was under "active consideration".
He was not sure about public servants, but said the risk was higher for people on the front line such as police and ambulance workers.
"The number of 90 per cent is now used, and I think we can get beyond that," he said.
He said they were doing roughly 60,000 vaccinations a day, and there was capacity to do more.
In response to questions about continued restrictions even when New Zealand was vaccinated, he said people should expected continued mask wearing and signing in.
"But I'd be surprised if we ever see level 4 again," he said.
Questioned on the eventual opening up of borders, he said they would manage it "week by week, month by month".
Pushed on an acceptable death rate of Covid when New Zealand opens up, he said he could not put a number on that.
"No Health minister is ever going to say 'this number of deaths is acceptable," he said.
He was asked if New Zealand could delay opening up until there were individualised vaccination targets for ethnicities.
He said there was an inequity associated with ethnicity, but targeted health teams were working on addressing this.
There was also a lot of work to go before children aged 5 to 11 could be vaccinated, he said.
Little's comments came after Saturday's 8am locations of interest update, which showed 141 events involving 98 locations. The changes were:
• Z Central Parade Mount Maunganui, September 11, 10.10am-11.30am.
• Z Central Parade Mount Maunganui September 14, 9.55am-11.15am.
• Chemist Warehouse Ronwood Centre, September 15, 2.07pm-3.07pm.
• Blue Sea Laundromat Manukau September 16, 3pm-5pm.
The 10am update showed 142 events involving 99 locations, with one new location -Idlewild Superette Mangere on September 12 from 1:32pm-1:40pm.
The investigation of the alleged border breach comes after Queenstown-Lakes area residents were alarmed earlier this week when it emerged a couple from Auckland had travelled to Queenstown last weekend then driven to Wanaka to go skiing.
Police allege the couple, Williams Willis (35) and Hannah Rawnsley (26), used essential worker exemptions to leave Auckland and went to Hamilton Airport, where they caught a commercial flight to Queenstown and then drove a rental car to a holiday home in Wanaka.
In the week since police approached the couple, it has become the highest-profile Covid-19 lockdown breach allegation of Auckland's nearly month-long Delta strain outbreak.