53 days ago

Covid-19: Why are people being stopped on the way in to Auckland? Hours-long delays into the night

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

Auckland reporters:

People should be able to freely enter Auckland under alert level 3 lockdown, instead of waiting up to six hours just to get home, ACT leader David Seymour says.

Some people have had to be rescued from the long queues in the heat by ambulance, Seymour said. People have been toileting on the side of the road.

Police checkpoints returned to the borders when the region plunged back to level 3 at 6am on Sunday as authorities try to trace the origin of infection for the latest community case.

Seymour said it does not make sense to have restrictions for people coming from a lower-risk area and entering Auckland.

“If the Government believes there’s a risk of people outside of Auckland bringing Covid into Auckland, then they would have to put the rest of the country into a higher alert level.”

Seymour said he had been contacted by numerous people on Sunday complaining about the wait and the distress it caused, with some waiting up to six hours, 45 minutes.

There should be strict control of people leaving Auckland, but there was no need to have the same control on people entering, especially after Aucklanders had been away for a busy weekend, he said.

“Covid is bad and we need to maintain eradication but kids and elderly people stuck in hot cars can lead to serious problems too.”

Aucklander Fernanda Leone said it took her five-and-a-half hours to go through the check point at State Highway 1 at Mercer, after leaving Hamilton at midday on Sunday.

The trip usually take 90 minutes and, before she left, Google Maps said the trip would take two hours, 20 minutes.

“There are lots of cars with people with kids and animals in it, and I’m pretty sure – just like us – they didn’t know it would take this long so didn't come prepared.”

Leone had been in Hamilton for the Six60 concert and is travelling to her home in West Auckland.

Another Aucklander said she was in Hastings for the Good Vibes Summer Festival.

After 90 minutes at a standstill, she was unsure how much longer it will be until she reached the checkpoint.

“We're watching people going to the toilet on the side of the road. It’s really hot and people have kids and animals – they look really bothered.”

At Auckland's northern border, the wait is about two hours heading into Auckland, with no queue into Northland.

Were you stuck in traffic queues driving back to Auckland?

If so, how long did you have to queue?

How long did your trip back home take you?

What was it like being stuck in your car?

*Please put NFP if you do not want your comments used by Stuff.

More messages from your neighbours
2 hours ago

Every Signature Counts

The Team from Cancer Society Auckland

Reducing the number of shops able to sell tobacco is part of the Government’s world-leading draft Smokefree plan.

Show your support by signing our petition here.
Sign the petition

Image
13 days ago

Wee Jobs Useful Information

The Team from Wee Jobs

Did you know how much you can save by replacing just one 75 watt incandescent lightbulb with a 11 watt LED lightbulb? Check out our post below!

Image
3 days ago

Makeover planned for Queen St in Auckland's CBD

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

A facelift is set to roll out on Queen St, in Auckland's CBD.

Wide boardwalks, seating and native plants in planter boxes will soon replace the plastic sticks and temporary footpaths on Queen St between Customs St and Shortland St.

Auckland Council has unveiled plans to remove emergency Covid-19 works in the area and create a pocket park on the corner of Queen St and Fort St.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said Queen St was due for an upgrade.

“We want the street to be more people-friendly and attractive, and to become a place to visit, rather than just pass through,” he said.

“Last year, temporary measures were put in place by Auckland Transport to allow physical distancing during the pandemic. It’s now time for the yellow markers, stone blocks and painted asphalt to be replaced. "

Extended decking pavements, shrubs in proper planter boxes and street furniture will help change the look and feel of the area, Goff said.

These measures would be trialed before permanent changes were made following feedback from businesses, shoppers, visitors and residents, he said.

“Queen Street has taken a hit from COVID-19, with the loss of tourists, cruise ships and international students."

Goff said the council, businesses and residents needed to work together to help the area recover from Covid-19 and become a vibrant place to shop.

The upgrade will enhance other transformations including the refurbishment of the Chief Post Office, the creation of Te Komititanga, the new public space outside Commercial Bay, and Te Wananga, the new space being built over the water by the ferry building, he said.

Meanwhile, Aucklanders are being invited to give their feedback on a proposal to create bus lanes on sections of Queen St.

The changes are touted to improve reliability as more buses use the street during the next phase of the City Rail Link construction.

What do you think of the improvements to Queen St?

Which changes would you like to see there?

*Please put NFP if you do not want your comments used by Stuff.

People have until May 7 to have their say on the changes at:
at.govt.nz...