Police and iwi are urging the community to stay home and stay in their bubble this Easter in order to save lives.

Whanganui-Ruapehu Police will be ramping up visibility on the roads over the long weekend.

Area commander for Whanganui-Ruapehu, Nigel Allan, said officers will be visible in communities and on the roads to make sure people know they need to stay at their current place of residence while level 4 restrictions are in place.

"Travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading Covid-19 and puts lives at risk," he said.

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Police will be ramping up their presence on the roads over the long weekend to keep people safe. Photo / Bevan Conley
Police will be ramping up their presence on the roads over the long weekend to keep people safe. Photo / Bevan Conley

"Travelling to the bach for a holiday is not essential travel and it is not permitted. If you choose to travel for anything other than an essential purpose and are stopped by police you should expect to be directed to return to the point of origin of your journey."

Allan said its first step will be to educate, but if people continue to break the rules, they will use their discretion to warn people or, if necessary, people may be arrested.

"We appreciate the way our communities have come together to keep themselves safe through a very difficult time. It is our role to support our communities to be safe – we're asking everyone to play their part this Easter."

Ohakune-based iwi Ngāti Rangi are also urging outsiders to not come.

Ohakune alone has 800 holiday homes but Ruapehu iwi is urging people not to travel here over Easter. Photo / Bevan Conley
Ohakune alone has 800 holiday homes but Ruapehu iwi is urging people not to travel here over Easter. Photo / Bevan Conley

Te Kāhui o Paerangi chair Whetu Moataane said Ruapehu was not open for people to come and self-isolate.

"We have enough non-locals here as it is and people need to stay at home.

"Ohakune alone has 800 holiday homes. Our message to home-owners is clear. Do not come here to self-isolate and do not come here over Easter. You will be putting pressure on our rural health system and food supply chain.

"Respect our place by respecting our wishes. We aren't open for business."

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Moataane said the local health system did not have capacity to cater for visitors during this time.

Iwi are calling on local authorities to act quickly to restrict access to the rohe during this time.

"Now is the time for leadership from local government. Council need to use their influence to remind visitors and tourists of the seriousness of the situation," Moataane said.

Police will also increase their presence at key entry points to the Ruapehu region and will advise travellers to return to where they have come from.

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