Auckland mayor Phil Goff has hit out at anti-lockdown protesters who held up traffic on roads throughout the country today, describing their actions as “crass and stupid”.
Police are promising to follow up on any offences or breaches of the laws after the Freedoms and Rights Coalition protest group took to the roads, trying to create a gridlock in New Zealand’s largest city by driving slowly.
On Facebook today, Goff said he came across them as he was returning from a Pasifika vaccination event at Mt Smart Stadium where he saw “volunteers and medical staff working in the pouring rain to ensure people are protected”.
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He said their vehicles spread across three lanes of the motorway, doing 50 km an hour and deliberately blocking people from going about their business.
Goff said they were spreading disinformation and lies about covid-19 and vaccinations.
“Crass and stupid but what else would you expect?” he asked.
Cases and vaccination rates
The Ministry of Health reported 175 new community cases of covid-19 – 26 fewer than yesterday’s total.
Of those 159 are in Auckland, two in Northland, eight in Waikato, one in Taupō and the five previously announced cases in Taranaki.
The two new Northland cases have clear links to known cases.
However, the ministry late today confirmed three more positive results for Taupō in addition to the case announced earlier.
Two are household contacts.
The third is a close contact. This person, who is now isolating in Taupō, travelled to Masterton last weekend, before becoming ill on Monday.
Two other household contacts of the case have tested negative.
Ninety three people are in hospital – all in Auckland and eight more than yesterday.
Nine patients are in intensive care or a high dependency unit.
The latest wastewater result for the Taranaki town of Stratford has not detected covid-19.
Close to 90 percent target
Just over 2000 first doses of the covid-19 vaccine are needed for the whole country to officially reach the 90 percent milestone.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Health show Auckland DHB is the first to surpass more than 95 percent of the eligible population to have their first dose.
Nationally, about 80 percent have had a second dose.
This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.