Raglan is not mincing its words: "If it's not your home, go home ... and don't buy up all our flour!".

That's the message on a new $600 sign erected at the entrance to the popular Waikato beach town on Friday.

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The "Raglan is in lockdown" sign was the brainchild of Waikato Regional Councillor and Raglan resident Fred Lichtwark, whose community was alarmed at the regular parade of cars into town despite the country being at alert level 4 in the fight against Covid-19.


"Unfortunately we're getting a lot of people coming in from Hamilton doing the [grocery] shopping."

There had been no queues, no panic buying and plenty of food until this week when Lichtwark ordered milk, bread, butter, flour, raisins and sparkling water in his click and collect. The plan was to make scones.

"But my order turned up and I just had raisins and sparkling water. And I just went 'um... what's going on?'."

Supermarket workers told Lichtwark the suspect shoppers were from nearby Hamilton and police informed him they had pulled over three cars for speeding that were heading from Raglan to Hamilton, loaded with groceries.

Lichtwark did some investigating and discovered a steady stream of cars through the main street of Raglan and no spare parks outside the Super Value store over an hour.

"On Tuesday between 11 and 12 o'clock, just on [Wainui Rd], there were 120 traffic movements.

"People from elsewhere have clicked on and they've turned up and they've been stripping it."

The food hustle raised the ire of locals, who let their regional councillor know.


Lichtwark in turn asked the council to cough up for a sign and when it wouldn't he commissioned one himself.

When word got out, Waikato Regional Council chairman Russ Rimmington offered to pay part of the $600 while Raglan Signs donated half the cost of the sign.

The Waikato District Community Wellbeing Trust also offered to help pay, according to Lichtwark.

"I've just had massive feedback through social media that's all positive."

Lichtwark said the sign was meant to be friendly but firm.

"We didn't use the f word. There is a lot of frustration in all communities and being a beach town, people seem to think they can still cruise off to the beach."

Lichtwark also wants road cones on the Wainui Reserve to encourage walkers only.

"Because we're getting so many people that are coming into the reserve and walking to the beach and they're not from here."

The 59-year-old had spoken to tourists in campervans at Manu Bay who didn't seem to realise New Zealand was in lockdown.

"It's ridiculous. Don't compromise our food supply and don't compromise our health."

The black sand beach's beauty and popularity among international travellers was a double-edged sword, he said.

"Right now we just ask people to wait until lockdown's finished and then you're welcome back."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website