Covid-19: Labour Party volunteer breaks lockdown for Poto Williams leaflet drop

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says genome sequencing shows the community Covid-19 case is the Delta strain and originated in Australia.

A Labour Party volunteer has breached the stay at home guidance to deliver party political leaflets in support of Police Minister Poto Williams.

The local volunteer broke the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is the leader of the Labour Party, to drop off a stack of leaflets to a Parklands address in Christchurch East, Williams’ electorate, on Wednesday.

Michelle McKay,​ who lives at the address, said she heard a knock on the door just after 2.30pm. She said her daughter had agreed to drop the pamphlets off several months ago but had since moved out of home.

“We are relying on a team of five million, and you have this idiot doing this. I just don't get it,” she said.

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A Labour Party volunteer tried to deliver leaflets for Police Minister Poto Williams on the first day of lockdown. (File photo)
A Labour Party volunteer tried to deliver leaflets for Police Minister Poto Williams on the first day of lockdown. (File photo)

McKay said the man didn’t try to come inside and kept a physical distance when she opened the door, but she was still shocked he was breaking lockdown to deliver the leaflets.

“He should’ve called before he delivered them,” she said. “He had a huge bundle. I told him to take the pamphlets with him. When I said to him ‘no’ he kept saying ‘but this is the right street’.”

New Zealand moved into alert level 4 for three days after a person infected with the highly infectious Delta variant was reported in Auckland on Tuesday night. Auckland and Coromandel would stay at level 4 for a week. Since then, the outbreak has grown to seven active cases.

Modelling suggests about 50 to 120 people could've been infected in the community before the original case was found.

Labour Party general secretary Rob Salmond said a message had gone out to local Christchurch volunteers on Wednesday afternoon to remind them of the level 4 restrictions which meant everyone should stay at home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement.

“I am confident that they have now got the message,” he said.

By March this year, Police had prosecuted more than 1000 Covid-related breaches including people who had broken lockdown.

Poto Williams is the MP for Christchurch East and is the Police Minister. She holds the building and construction portfolio and is the associate minister for children and housing.

A spokeswoman for Williams said it was for party officials to comment.