An Auckland couple pleaded guilty Violation of the ban on travel from Auckland to Wānaka.
William John Lawrence Willis, 35, und Hannah Rawnsley, 26He traveled to Hamilton on September 9 under the pretext of delivering hay while Auckland was on alert.
They illegally passed through the Auckland-Waikato checkpoint using material exemptions for workers.
They were then driven to Hamilton Airport, where they took a commercial flight to Queenstown via Wellington, rented a vehicle and drove to a vacation home in Wānaka.
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The couple appeared before Judge Bruce Davidson in the Papakura District Court on Tuesday via a video link.
Her attorney, Rachael Reed QC, made guilty admission on her behalf and also moved for the couple to be released without conviction.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern comments on the Auckland couple who violated the Covid-19 lockdown rules and flew from Auckland to Wanaka.
Reed QC requested a conviction for Rawnsley.
After the alleged violation became known, the couple searched Name suppression to keep her identity and the identity of Willis’ mother – District Judge Mary-Beth Sharp – a secret.
They said in a statement: “We deeply regret our actions and would like to apologize wholeheartedly to the Wānaka community and everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand for what we have done.”
They said they both had negative Covid-19 tests before the trip and when they returned to Auckland. In addition, they were not considered close contacts and had not visited any interesting places.
Friends and families were unaware of their travel plans.
They said they initially tried to suppress names after receiving death threats, but are now determined to take responsibility for their actions.
Sharp also released a statement saying she was “horrified” and “very embarrassed” to learn about the couple’s actions.
“If I had known of their intentions, which of course I didn’t, I would have told them not to act so thoughtlessly and selfishly.
“I do not tolerate your behavior.”