LISTEN: The overwhelming majority of people are doing the right thing, staying at home and keeping themselves safe, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has told Magic Talk.
New Zealand went into a strict Alert Level 4 lockdown at 11:59pm Tuesday.
Coster told Magic Talk that Police will be taking an education-first approach around the new requirement to wear a face covering at essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
But enforcement action will be taken where necessary for the safety of everyone, he says.
People engaging in activity that endangers public safety during this outbreak, Police will respond quickly to prevent any risk to the community.
"If someone refuses to comply with the direction, in terms of the COVID Act, then we can arrest," Coster told Magic Talk.
Two men, aged 49 and 36, were arrested at a protest in Auckland on Wednesday. They were due to appear in Auckland District Court today, each facing two charges under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and one charge under the Search and Surveillance Act 2021.
A 52-year-old woman also arrested is due to appear in Auckland District Court on 25 August facing one charge under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and one charge under the Search and Surveillance Act 2021.
Meanwhile in Tauranga, of the four people arrested during protest activity on Wednesday, three were issued with formal warnings.
A 56-year-old woman is due to appear in Tauranga District Court on 23 August facing one charge under the Health Act 1956.
Listen to the full interview with Andrew Coster above.