Government organisations and iwi are assuring the public that three men arrested at Turoa ski field have presented no Covid-19 risk to the community.
The trio from Auckland were arrested in Ohakune on Thursday after travelling to Turoa on Wednesday, using genuine essential worker passes to travel through the checkpoint in place south of Auckland.
Ski field staff became suspicious of documentation used to obtain a ski pass.
Two of the men are aged 23 and the other is 18. They have been charged with failing to comply with a directions/restriction/prohibition (Covid-19) and take/obtain/use a document for pecuniary advantage.
The men, who returned to Auckland on Thursday evening, have been bailed to appear in Auckland District Court on September 23.
Police, Whanganui District Health Board, Ruapehu District Council and iwi are working closely together to ensure the community is kept safe and that there is no risk from this incident.
Inspector Nigel Allan, the police area commander for Whanganui Ruapehu, said the behaviour of the three men was unacceptable from an iwi, community and police perspective.
"We want to remind everyone that the restrictions in place are there to help keep everyone safe and reduce any spread of Covid-19 in the community," Allan said.
"As shown by the actions taken today where people choose to deliberately breach the restriction in place, police will take enforcement action."
Whanganui DHB chief executive Russell Simpson said the Public Health Centre had been following up on the case.
"We have tested the three people involved and all have tested negative. People can be reassured that there is no risk to the community from this breach," he said.
"However, it is important that everyone follows the rules to protect the community from the Delta strain of the virus which is easily transmissible, spreads rapidly and is, therefore, particularly dangerous."
Local iwi Ngati Rangi and Uenuku said they found the men's actions "highly offensive".
"We are trying to keep our communities safe. Now is not the time to go for a joy ride," Ngati Rangi deputy chairman Whetu Moataane said.
Uenuku chairman Aiden Gilbert said if the alert levels were good enough for everyone else then people should stick to them.
"We are all in this together."
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said he wanted to thank the ski field staff for their vigilance, and the police for their quick action in charging the people involved which sent a clear message to anyone thinking of doing anything similar.
"It is very disappointing that a minority of people think it is okay to do something like this, but they should note that there are systems and processes in place that mean they are very likely to be found out and charged.
"We have no tolerance for people breaching the alert level rules and putting our communities at risk."