The men were stopped as they tried to enter Auckland on Sunday in breach of strict coronavirus lockdown rules.
At present, the country’s capital is under a level 4 lockdown that has seen the closure of all restaurants and take-out services. Everyone is required to stay at home and only essential shops are open.
Elsewhere in the country, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs are categorised as level 2, however, with residents permitted to leave their homes.
Police stopped the “suspicious-looking vehicle” after it was spotted on a gravel road on the city outskirts.
Upon seeing the officers, the two occupants of the car, who are alleged gang associates, did a u-turn and sped off, before eventually pulling over.
When the vehicle was searched, police found a large cache of KFC, more than NZ$100,000 (£50,000) in cash and “empty ounce bags”.
Photographs shared by the police show at least three buckets of chicken, around 10 cups of coleslaw, fries and four large bags containing other KFC products.
According to New Zealand police, the two men, aged 23 and 30, were travelling to Auckland from Hamilton, a city around 75 miles south of the capital.
The pair are expected in court for charges of breaching lockdown orders, although police said “further charges are likely”.
The news follows reports of food shortages from the fast food chain in the UK, which alongside other outlets, such as McDonald’s, Iceland and Tesco, has struggled with supply issues leading to chicken shortages.
According to Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, virtually all hospitality businesses are currently experiencing problems in their supply chains.
“Suppliers and hospitality businesses alike are facing enormous challenges to their supply chains and are working together minimise the impact to consumers,” she told The Independent.
“Our figures show that 94 per cent of hospitality businesses are experiencing problems, with about two-thirds of those saying some goods simply don’t arrive, thereby reducing the menu they can offer customers and severely undermining sales.”
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