As most hunkered down on the first day of the lockdown, some with a "bad attitude" were still roaming the streets of Rotorua.

As of 9.30am yesterday there had been six Covid-19 cases confirmed in the Lakes District Health Board and three in the Bay of Plenty DHB areas.

Neither DHB had any "probable cases" listed in yesterday's Ministry of Health update.

So far there have been 262 confirmed cases and 21 probable nationally.


Watchdog Security chief executive Brett Wilson said there were still people roaming around who should not have been, as well as a handful of freedom campers.

A police officer talks to someone on Tarawera during the first day of lockdown on Thursday. Photo / Stephen Parker
A police officer talks to someone on Tarawera during the first day of lockdown on Thursday. Photo / Stephen Parker

"Some people are thumbing their noses at the lockdown and have a bad attitude."

He said police had not been needed at this stage and hoped it would not get to that.

"If it gets too bad, police will get involved," Wilson said.

There were six foot patrols in the CBD, staff at essential service locations and support for the Lakes DHB at various locations.

The service runs on a 24/7 roster and has teamed up with other security companies.

The big task of ensuring people obeyed the lockdown meant the organisation was currently recruiting staff, three had been added yesterday.

In Tauranga, the Watchdog service predominantly assisted on a private basis to keep several rest homes in lockdown.


Individual homes had taken on themselves to hire the security.

Wilson said guards were on the gates was to ensure only staff and essential deliveries came onto sites and to "stop unnecessary interaction and keep them safe because they're so much more vulnerable".

"I don't think people have come to grips with the consequences on those who are unwell or medically more vulnerable to [the coronavirus]."

Wilson said there had been no issues in the city yesterday and people were understanding of the need to stay indoors.

A Lakes DHB spokeswoman said Rotorua Hospital's emergency department had been "busier than anticipated" in the first 14 hours of the lockdown.

She said this was due to public anxiety around Covid-19 and the Prime Minister's announcement last Saturday asking general practices to alter the way they operated.

"It is not unexpected that presentations to hospital are higher than anticipated," she said.

She said a number of people had come to the emergency department who could have instead contacted their GP, Lakes PrimeCare or Healthline.

Good teamwork and some laughs are some of the ways staff are keeping up morale, and additional resources had also been provided.

Security has been put in place at the three roads into the hospital and staff must show their ID to identify themselves.

Non-staff members needed to state their reason for being there.

Unichem Pharmacy Central Mall owner Brett Fordyce said it had been a steady first day with prescriptions being faxed, those eligible for flu vaccinations had come to the designated area and the people were keeping good social distance.

The quiet store and empty mall were "unbelievable" he said, especially given the chaos it had been in the days leading up to it.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush joins Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking to discuss police clamping down on people flouting coronavirus lockdown rules. Audio / Newstalk ZB

Lakes Care Pharmacy manager Paul Wu said the store traffic had "gone back to normal" after an influx this week after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcement on Monday the country would go into lockdown at midnight last night.

Compared to the past few days, people were less anxious yesterday as they realised they realised the pharmacy had not shut.

Wu said all essential suppliers were still running and people would still be able to get their medication.

He had noticed people buying more medication than they needed and said panic buying would cause "unnecessary problems with the supply chain".

A barricade and pick up area inside the store had been set up in the pharmacy for patients to pick up prescriptions.

Patients could also phone the pharmacy and discuss how they would like to collect their prescription, an option being staying in their car and having it brought out to them.

Neighbourhood Support New Zealand urges all New Zealanders to set up a Neighbourhood Support group as soon as possible.

Chief executive Tess Casey encouraged people to think about how they link in those who did not have access to the internet, who did not have English as a first language or were not confident with social media.

This would help vulnerable neighbours get through the next four weeks.

The charitable organisation has helped create safe, resilient and connected communities for over 20 years.

The duty manager at Four Square Fordlands in Rotorua said customer numbers had been "pretty steady" yesterday.

Many of the customers had clearly loaded up at bigger supermarkets before the lockdown as most were only buying extra bits and pieces, the duty manager said.

He said they were only letting five people into the store at one time and people were patiently waiting their turn and also abiding by the two-metre separation rule.

The duty manager also said depending on the level of demand there was a possibility the store's opening and closing hours could be reduced by an hour.

Police detail how they have been cracking down on those not following the Level 4 restrictions around Auckland. Video / Police

Community Patrols of New Zealand national support manager Cheryl Watson said the Night Owl Community Patrols volunteers had been stood down during the lockdown.

Watson said on Monday when the alert level raised to three her organisation decided to stand down its 5000 volunteers nationwide until clarification was sought. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website