Police say those business owners who deliberately breached a cordon in Christchurch CBD today must think carefully about the consequences of their actions.
A group of around 30 accessed the red zone through the Worcester Street cordon at around 2.55pm this afternoon. Police were at the scene almost immediately and the group were escorted back out at the Hereford Street cordon.
No arrests were made but a number of individuals were given warnings.
"Police fully recognise the frustration of business owners" said Superintendent Andy McGregor.
"However they must also understand those cordons are there for the very good reason that the CBD area remains a highly dangerous environment.
"We just can't have people going in when they want to recover their property - it is simply too dangerous.
"Police do not want to be put in the position of having to divert resources away from maintaining public safety and law enforcement in the wider community to prevent further opportunistic breaches.
"Such actions puts the protestors, cordon staff and the wider community at risk.
"The Civil Defence controller has said arrangements are being worked on to give business owners access back into their premises and we ask that people be patient in the meantime.
"Police have made it clear that anyone found within the red zone without authorisation will be dealt with firmly and this applies to everyone."
Christchurch Media Liaison Team: 027 432 0960 or ChchPoliceMediaLiason@police.govt.nz