Five who absconded from managed isolation had returned for whānau tangihanga

updated By Te Ao - Māori News

The five people who absconded from the managed isolation facility at the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton Friday night are understood to have returned for the tangihanga of an immediate whānau member.

Te Ao understands the group's application for special exemption to attend the tangihanga was denied. ‬

A police statement released Saturday morning said four of the five people who absconded have been charged with breaching the Health Act notice.

A 37-year-old year woman and three young people were detained in Hamilton at about 7.50pm Friday night, according to police.

The fifth person, a 17-year-old male, was located at an address in Waitemata at about 4.40am Saturday morning and was detained without incident.

Arrangements are currently being made for him to appear before a Youth Court in Auckland on Saturday.

The other three will appear before the Hamilton District and Youth Courts on Saturday, police say.

Assistant Police Commissioner Scott Fraser says, "Locating these people was a priority for police. We committed a considerable number of resources, including the Eagle helicopter, to our search for the young man overnight."

Police enquiries are continuing.

In a media statement Saturday afternoon, police confirmed that a 37-year-old woman, together with three youths aged 18, 17 and 16, have been jointly charged with intentionally failing to comply with an order made under section 11 of the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 by leaving a managed isolation facility.

A 12-year-old who also left the facility has not been charged, the statement said.