The protester who went public bragging that her white privilege helped her cross the Auckland border in fact used an official exemption, police have confirmed.
The woman, part of the Sovereign Hīkoi of Truth (SHOT) shared a video online bragging about crossing the Auckland border to attend a gathering in Northland.
The video went viral after it was shared on Twitter.
"I've just made it through my first checkpoint," the smiling woman says in the selfie video filmed as she drives.
"Might head up to Waitangi and catch up with the rest of the waka, because that's what you do," she said, referring to the SHOT gathering at Waitangi.
She then brags that she will then be able to cross any further checkpoints because she has been "registered as passed through".
She tells viewers that she "didn't have to do anything" to cross the border - including taking a Covid test.
She said it was a "real shame" that others travelling north were not allowed to cross the border without taking a test - and said she believed it was because she was white and driving a nice car.
"I'm a white lady in a mint Chrysler so maybe that's got something to do with it," she said.
She described how she went off the beaten track to cross the border, claiming she told police she took a detour off State Highway 1 after hearing there was some trouble on the main route.
Police today confirmed the woman crossed the southern Auckland border yesterday at Pukekawa on State Highway 22, after presenting documents showing she was relocating to Kerikeri.
"The person stated they were relocating from Kapiti Mana to Kerikeri and the correct paperwork was provided to support this," a police spokesperson said.
"They were also questioned around why they had travelled this route instead of SH1, and told our staff they were aware of the protest at Mercer and wanted to avoid the traffic on SH1."
Police said anyone travelling between two level 2 areas, such as Kapiti and Northland, would not be required to provide evidence of a Covid test.
Despite her claims to police, other videos posted to social media by the woman shows she spent an extended period of time at the SHOT protest at Auckland's border.
She repeatedly broadcast live to Facebook showing life inside the encampment set up by the rump of the failed hīkoi.
The woman who shared the video on Twitter said she felt "absolutely let down" by the apparent ease with which the female driver crossed the border.
Others asked how the woman could be "so maliciously ignorant and arrogantly foolish".
"Brown anti-vaxxers, why aren't your white friends coming back for you?" another asked.
"They're gloating about their privileges while you get arrested. They do not care about you or the northern whānau that they're risking."
The decision by the SHOT group to travel to Waitangi earlier this week was met by widespread disapproval from iwi and other groups in Tai Tokerau.
Te Rūnanga-ā-iwi ō Ngāpuhi chair Wane Wharerau said in a statement that the rūnanga stood with everyone who opposed the hīkoi.
"We have not fought this virus for 20 months and tolerated the harsh restrictions around tangihanga, gather at the marae and visit whanāu to abandon this plan now.
"It is disappointing that organisers are using He Whakaputanga, or the Declaration of Independence, as a means of bringing attention to their cause...this hīkoi diverts attention from a genuine commemoration of a covenant in the history of Ngāpuhi."
Tai Tokerau Border Control founder Hone Harawira described the hīkoi as a "scam" run by "Pākehā anti-vaxxers".
While a small group of protesters did make it to Waitangi, it was unclear who from the crowd of more than 1000 people present at Te Tii Marae was a SHOT participant as the He Whakaputanga commemorations were in full swing in the campground next to the marae.