Police issue warnings as Level 3 restrictions continue to be ignored

August 19, 2020

Police issue warnings as Level 3 restrictions continue to be ignored

Aucklanders continue to gather outdoors despite warnings. Photo: Ben Leonard

Police are issuing formal warnings to those breaking Alert Level 3 restrictions at Auckland’s parks.

Police spokesperson Jared Williamson says that Police issued four warnings over the weekend, with two related to outdoor gatherings.

It’s part of the Police’s graduated approach to dealing with breaches, a process that begins with education but can end in criminal charges for repeat offenders.

Despite the rules, some Aucklanders continue to gather at basketball courts, playgrounds and skateparks.

At Potters Park in Balmoral, the basketball courts attract up to 15 people a night.

Lee, 24, plays basketball at Potters Park most evenings and says he has noticed the Auckland Council closure signs.

“I saw them but I don’t get why it’s closed? We’re all from around here so it should be all good”.

Hamish, 27, was also using the courts at Potters Park and says that he’ll keep using the facilities regardless of restrictions.

“We’re being told to get out and exercise, but then they put up these signs. There isn't much else around here.”

While parks remain open for exercise with social distancing, facilities such as sports equipment, benches, and playgrounds have been closed.

Auckland Councillor Alf Filipaina says he is disappointed that people seem to be ignoring the rules.

“It's still the same rules as we had last lockdown, so these people should know better,” says Filipaina.

“Initially people just assumed that it was just isolated to south Auckland because that's where the first cases were. Now they're seeing that cases are popping up all over Tāmaki. This is an Auckland-wide issue”.

In the meantime, breaches of lockdown rules and parks closures can be reported to the Police online or by calling the 105 non-emergency phone number.

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