Residents of a popular Bay of Plenty holiday spot have come together in a bid to stop tourists from visiting amid the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.
Signs reading "Stop! No tourists allowed. Locals only!" have been put up at the entrance to Maketū.
A large piece of white material has been tied along a fence with the words "residents only, no tourists!" in red paint. The middle of the sign has the words, coronavirus Covid-19, in a red circle with a line through it.
Maketū community board member Kevin Marsh said he was 100 per cent behind the move.
"Maketū has a lot of older people with health issues and they are at risk," he said.
"We've all been told to stay home. No one should be deciding to drive into Maketū except for essential workers and emergency services."
Figures from Statistics New Zealand showed the coastal town had a population of 1047 in 2006, with 17.8 per cent of the Maketū Community aged over 65 years.
Marsh said he did not know who was behind the signs but they had shown "a great responsibility for the community".
"It's something that's going to protect the local people. We are all supposed to stay at home and 80 to 90 per cent of us are. There's people who have to leave Maketū for work, and that's fine, but people should not be coming in."
Maketū's reserves and facilities were popular among kiwifruit workers and freedom campers.
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Community board chairman and volunteer firefighter Shane Beech said Maketū's population needed protection and felt the signs were more advisory than a command.
"We don't want sightseers or tourists or people of such being nosey or coming into our little town," Beech said.
"[The sign] is another tool our little community can use in regards to keep us as safe as possible."
Beech said that as far as he knew, the signs were not manned as people were staying inside, as they should.
"Everyone should be in their safe little bubble and not travelling around," Beech said.
Fellow community board member Stephan Simpson said there was nothing wrong with putting up a sign but manning it was not something they supported.
The signs come as the Matakana Island community also take measures into their own hands , deploying two kaitiaki (guardians) to monitor the wharf barge to ensure no one breaks lockdown rules and come on to the island.
Elderly Matakana Island resident Hauata Palmer was part of the group that put together the monitoring plan as he believed "if the virus hit, it would wipe us out".
Western Bay of Plenty mayor Garry Webber said these were "difficult times" and people sometimes acted in what they thought was the right way.
Webber recommended that if people had concerns, rather than trying vigilante action, to use the 105 police website to lodge complaints.
Western Bay of Plenty area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton said police were aware that various steps were being taken by a number of communities through concern about the welfare.
"Whilst we acknowledge the concerns, some may in fact be increasing the risk of transmission through their communities by not remaining within their homes," Paxton said.
He said police speaking to those involved and encouraging them to abide by the restrictions to ensure the safety of all members of the community.
"Communities can assist by continuing to self-isolate in their own homes and if they wish to exercise remaining within their neighbourhood."
He said travel should be restricted to that which is essential and only necessary to obtain food or other medical assistance.
Tourism Bay of Plenty had been contacted for comment.