Police issued a strong warning to lockdown rule-breakers today after receiving almost 700 reports of Alert Level 3 breaches within 24 hours.
A huge influx in party-hungry Kiwis resulted in 112 prosecutions from 6pm on Friday to the same time yesterday, authortities said.
Amongst them was an incident yesterday morning when police returned to a known Mongrel Mob address in Hamilton to do a follow-up visit.
They had been to the address the night before and formally warned a patched Mongrel Mob member from Napier who should not have been there.
As a result of that visit, two patched members were arrested - a 35-year-old Auckland resident, who was charged with unlawful possession of a pistol, and a 32-year-old Hamilton man who had a warrant to arrest for failing to appear in court in March.
Both men are due to appear in the Hamilton District Court on Monday.
Another man, a 28-year-old patched Mongrel Mob member from Tokoroa, was dealt with for breaching Alert Level 3 restrictions.
And a 34-year-old Mongrel Mob member arrested last week has been charged with unlawful possession of a restricted weapon and obstructing a medical officer.
This has been the first weekend since New Zealand left the more-restrictive Alert Level 4, but the Prime Minister and other authorities have urged that a lockdown still applies to most situations and that social gatherings outside of bubbles are definitely not acceptable.
Acting assistant police commissioner Scott Fraser called on New Zealanders not to be “complacent”, saying the risky behaviour could “waste all the sacrifices made by our team of five million over the last five weeks”.
Since the beginning of Level 3, around 1200 breaches have been reported around the country, with police acting against almost half the complaints.
So far, 135 people have been prosecuted for breaching Alert Level 3 conditions and a further 342 people received warnings.
Non-urgent breaches can be reported to police either online or by calling 105.