Eight campervans sent home as NZ police set up checkpoints in lead up to Easter weekend

Police have started preparing for non-essential travel this Easter weekend by setting up checkpoints, particularly targeted at those thinking of heading on holiday.

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Police have advised people not to travel during the lockdown. Source: 1 NEWS

The current Level 4 restriction requires everyone to remain at the place of residence they were in as of midnight 25 March, as New Zealand went into lockdown.

In Tasman region, eight camper vans have been stopped and turned around by police at a checkpoint south of Murchison.

Police said on Facebook the people were ordered to return to their homes in Christchurch "where they were supposed to be rather than trying to get to an Easter holiday destination". The checkpoint was set up at SH6 at O'Sullivan's Bridge south of Murchison to check why people are travelling.

Officers have this morning been spotted stopping traffic on SH1, the main road heading North of Auckland, 1 NEWS understands.

Several cars and officers were seen on foot at the intersection of Woodcocks Road and SH1. 

Another Auckland checkpoint saw police stopping all cars entering and exiting the Southern Motorway, according to NZ Herald. There were checkpoints on both sides of the Ellerslie motorway interchange but those are now gone. 

Residents of Ruatoki in the Bay of Plenty have also set up their own community checkpoint, which police say is not illegal - as long as the purpose is only to offer drivers "information".

For those looking at other means of travel, Northland police are urging boaties to keep off of the water this Easter weekend.

Police will be out in increased numbers across the district's communities, including out on the water, at boat ramps and marinas.