As stated by Inspector John Thornley, Road Policing Manager for Tāmaki Makaurau:
Police want to acknowledge motorists for their patience and co-operation as we continue to process thousands of vehicles across checkpoints set up in Tāmaki Makaurau under Alert Level 3.
There was significant congestion yesterday at the Southern checkpoint at Mercer and Police recognise the delays were frustrating for motorists, however Police need to ensure there is no non-essential movement in and out of the region under Alert Level 3.
Initial numbers, still to be verified, show that more than 25,000 vehicles were processed through all the checkpoints around Tāmaki Makaurau yesterday.
Police have been working hard to ease the congestion and waiting times at the checkpoints across Tāmaki Makaurau have been significantly shorter today.
From yesterday evening, NZ Defence Force personnel are also in attendance to support Police at the checkpoints during Level 3.
Confirmed Police data shows that between 6am and 3.30pm on Sunday 28th February, 10,356 vehicles were stopped at the 10 checkpoints, with the majority of vehicles stopped being at the Southern checkpoints.
Two hundred and sixty three vehicles were turned away from the checkpoints during this time – 151 at the northern checkpoints and 112 at the southern checkpoints.
A large amount of the traffic was as a result of Aucklanders returning to the region yesterday following Saturday evening’s announcement that Level 3 would be coming into effect.
There was an incident overnight at a southern checkpoints at State Highway 1/Oram Road where a man was arrested at around 3.30am for alleged drunk and disorderly behaviour.
He was taken to the Hamilton Police station and will be appearing in the Hamilton District Court at a later date.
Police still warn motorists to expect some delays at the checkpoints this week and, if possible, to avoid travelling during peak hours.