A 38-year-old Whanganui man has been jailed for a month for repeated lockdown breaches.

Central District Commander Superintendent Chris de Wattignar said the man had been verbally warned five times regarding alert level 4 restrictions.

On the sixth breach the man had driven some distance away from his home.

A 38-year-old Whanganui man has been sentenced to one month in prison over repeated lockdown breaches. Photo / Mike Scott
A 38-year-old Whanganui man has been sentenced to one month in prison over repeated lockdown breaches. Photo / Mike Scott

When spoken to by police, he was found to have no valid reason for again leaving his address.

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De Wattignar said this was a good reminder to follow the alert level 4 restrictions as people continuously breaking the restrictions would not be tolerated.

"Our first step has been to educate people on the rules, but if people continue to break them, as in this case, police can use their discretion to warn people, or if necessary arrest them," de Wattignar said.

"We are still at alert level 4, which means people should not be on our roads unless they are accessing essential services or delivering essential services."

Since the introduction of the alert level 4 restrictions, there have been 2729 breaches of the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act and the Health Act.

That has resulted in 294 prosecutions, 2361 warnings and 74 youth referrals.

The breaches have continued despite targeted moves from authorities - including having a stronger police presence on the street and setting up checkpoints and stopping cars to see where drivers are headed to.

Yesterday, during a traffic stop on Ponsonby Rd in Auckland police seized a pistol, ammunition, a Taser device, a machete and methamphetamine.

The 35-year-old driver was charged with firearms and drugs offences and charged under the Health Act for breaching alert level 4 restrictions.

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Over Easter, police put up checkpoints on motorways and main routes to stop people trying to get away for the long weekend.

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Although many were stopped and told to turn back to their town and home bubble, it was evident many also had managed to get through, as small communities reported crowds of people from out of town turning up suddenly.

Incidents have included people heading out to beaches to swim or surf.

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