Update on journey between Auckland and Wellington of the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19

Media release

17 June 2020

Additional information about the journey between Auckland and Wellington taken by two New Zealanders with COVID-19 who returned to New Zealand to see their dying parent has been confirmed. 

Upon leaving the Novotel in a private vehicle provided by friends, the women got lost on the Auckland motorway system. 

On realising this they phoned the same friends who supplied the vehicle, who met and guided them to the correct motorway so they could go in the right direction. As part of this the pair were in limited physical contact with the two friends for approximately five minutes. 

These two people have been contacted by local health authorities for a health check. Both had already had a test for COVID-19 once they heard of the positive results and are in self isolation.

In addition, health authorities have been informed of instances where friends have made contactless deliveries of food or care packages to the women while they have been in self-isolation in recent days. 

These packages were contactless deliveries and the friends who have delivered the packages have taken all appropriate precautions to maintain physical distance. As such there is no risk to the community from these interactions. 

It is important to remember that the two women were distressed at the time by the sudden death of their family member.   

It is not uncommon for information and details to evolve, including details being missed during case interviews and contact tracing where there is heightened emotion, intense grief and stress. 

The information was gathered as part of a second interview conducted by the local public health unit on Tuesday evening and subsequent interviews on Wednesday. 

This information was communicated to the Ministry of Health on the afternoon of Wednesday 17 June. 

Media contact

Charlotte Gendall
021 500 947

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