COVID-19: Dr Ashley Bloomfield tells Kiwis to refer to MoH website after Māori Party co-leader's misleading Facebook post

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is encouraging the public to take advice from the Ministry of Health rather than social media after Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi spread misinformation on Facebook.

Earlier on Sunday, Waititi said it was "asked" that people who had travelled to and attended the Six60 concert in Hamilton and the Parker v Fa fight at Spark Arena "self-isolate on their return".

Auckland has been instructed to stay at home under alert level 3 restrictions and the rest of New Zealand to follow level 2 restrictions.

At level 2, people are allowed to connect with friends and family but gatherings must not exceed the limit of 100 people.

"This post could cause some damage," one person commented.
"This post could cause some damage," one person commented. Photo credit: Facebook / Rawiri Waititi MP

Waititi's post drew many concerns - many confused as to whether they should self-isolate, despite living out of Auckland - and whether he was providing official MoH advice.

"Rawiri with much respect this post is open to much interpretation and causes a frenzy of fear. Yes we want our people to be safe and cautious but we don't want to cause panic," one person commented.

"Many that went to the concerts follow you and support you and this post could cause some damage.

"We can't encourage them all to self-isolate when that has not been named as a location of interest."

In a press conference on Sunday, Dr Bloomfield said people should always refer to the Ministry of Health's website for advice, rather than relying on social media.

"All the correct information about what people need to do who have been at places of interest or locations of interest is on our website," he said.

"If people have been at those events, or others, but were also at those places of interest at the time of interest then yes, they should self-isolate and follow the instructions on the website."

If anyone around the country develops any COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay at home and get tested.

"Of course, Aucklanders, including those who were at those events last night are now at level 3 and should be remaining at home and look out for symptoms," Dr Bloomfield added.

"If they become symptomatic while they are at home, they should seek a test."

Waititi has since edited his Facebook status.

"Kia Ora e te whānau, whilst the Ministry haven't yet released this as a piece of their advice - we must actively think ahead of the game and take extra precautions in order to protect our whakapapa," he wrote.

"A lot of whānau Māori attended these events, and we all have a role to play in being ahead of the eight-ball and preventing the spread.

"I have updated the above to make it clear."