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Rotorua MPs agree police acted swiftly to deal with an isolation hotel break-in last night, although one says it is a reminder to take the matter seriously.

A woman was caught pushing through a fence into the Rotorua Sudima managed isolation facility last night but did not get far.

A managed isolation and quarantine spokesperson said the person was apprehended by police about 9.40pm yesterday, before being able to enter the building.

"The person did not come into contact with any other person at the facility or enter the building. They were arrested by police and have been charged with unlawfully being on property."


Rotorua National MP Todd McClay told the Rotorua Daily Post the police had done a good job.

"It's very important that we continue to receive every assurance from the Government that they're taking the quarantine in Rotorua seriously. I'm glad that the person was caught but equally everything must continue to be done to make sure that these facilities are secure.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay. Photo / File
Rotorua MP Todd McClay. Photo / File

"Had this woman been able to get in and mingle with staff and others, people would be very worried. We do know there have been cases of Covid in these hotels so absolutely everything to make sure local people are safe, must be done.

"It is very, very serious. New Zealanders have a right to come home and we need to make sure they are being quarantined but the community deserves to know it is being done safely and appropriately."

Waiariki Labour MP Tamati Coffey questioned why anyone would want to sneak into an isolation hotel but praised the police officer who caught her.

"The police have been watching for people trying to get out, rather than get in, I think it's craziness actually. I'd send a message out to the community that it is quite an extraordinary event and not usual at all.

"I think we can put this one down to being a bit rogue but congratulations to the enforcement officers who are there and obviously doing their job."

Coffey said Rotorua's managed isolation facilities had been successful in achieving what they were set up for.


"It's going really well and I've really good reports from people who have been staying as well. I've had messages of gratefulness and thanks to the way we're doing our operation in our city.

"We've got iwi involvement, there's a welcome letter on arrival and a goodbye letter on departure, from the city. I think we're doing it with the true manaakitanga that our people expect."

Labour Party MP for Waiariki Tamati Coffey. Photo / File
Labour Party MP for Waiariki Tamati Coffey. Photo / File

Earlier, police confirmed a woman was trespassed from a hotel-turned-isolation facility last night.

A spokesperson said the woman had gone on to the property for a very brief period before she was seen by a police officer stationed at the site.

The woman had no contact with anyone in the facility, they said.

A 45-year-old woman has been charged with unlawfully being on the property and is due to appear in the Rotorua District Court next week.

It's the latest in a string of breaches at managed isolation facilities across New Zealand.


Last week a 32-year-old man who had just arrived in the country from Australia was arrested after escaping through cordons at Auckland's Crowne Plaza and managing to get at least 100m away before he was arrested. He was due to appear in court to face a charge under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act.

There have been two separate breaches at Hamilton's Distinction Hotel in the past four weeks, one involving a woman and her four children.

The woman at the centre of the breakout said she was taking her children to sit with their father who had died unexpectedly in Auckland and was due to be buried the following day.

After a dash in darkness on July 24 four people were found but one teenager managed to reach Auckland and was found by police hours later.

Four of the five were charged under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 and all pleaded guilty. They are due to be sentenced next month.

On July 9 Queenstown man Martin James McVicar, 52, broke out of the same hotel in Hamilton. He allegedly cut through fence ties and walked 10 minutes to buy beer and wine.


He was jailed at Spring Hill Prison and charged with failing to comply with Covid-19 public health laws. He was also charged with intentional damage to a television at the hotel.

This week Suzanne Marie Derrett appeared in the Dunedin District Court and was given a deferred sentence after she scaled a 1.5m wall at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland where she was undergoing isolation. The 43-year-old was on the run for nearly two hours before she was found by police a few blocks away.

On July 10 a person in their 60s broke a window and escaped from Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Mt Wellington, before knocking on residents' doors near the facility during the middle of the night.

The person was returned to the hotel by police and given health and welfare support.

Three days earlier a 32-year-old man in managed isolation at Auckland's Stamford Plaza slipped through a gap in fencing around the smoking area.

He went on a 70-minute excursion, which included shopping at a central city Countdown supermarket, where he took selfies in the aisles. He returned to the hotel, and then tested positive for Covid-19 the next day. He was expected to be charged and receive a summons to appear in court once he was cleared from quarantine.