Northland’s mayors and regional council chair have issued a plea to would-be holidaymakers not to travel to – or within – Northland for what would have been their traditional Easter break.
The Northland Mayoral Forum includes the mayors of the three districts – John Carter (Far North), Sheryl Mai (Whangarei), and Jason Smith (Kaipara) – and their Northland Regional Council equivalent, chair Penny Smart.
A statement by the forum yesterday said that many people had a long association with holidaying at baches and holiday homes in Northland, and it would be hard to accept that they would not get to spend time at them this Easter.
“Some have also raised the fact that they pay rates within the region. However, it’s been made clear from the outset that people must reside at the same place for the duration of the time New Zealand is at Covid-19 Alert Level 4 and travelling for Easter doesn’t meet the ‘stay local’ definition,” the statement said.
Forum members also said that an influx of further visitors – which had already been evident in a number of locations – would place added demands on health services, supermarkets and drinking water supplies which are still under pressure from the extended drought.
The fulltime residents in these communities, who have seen people arriving since the start of Alert Level 4, have concerns about all of these aspects.
“They’re also extremely aware of the underlying principle behind staying at home: breaking the chain of transmission.”