COVID-19: Mother-in-law of maskless woman filmed tormenting Torbay Four Square staff calls for police to prosecute

The mother-in-law of a woman who refused to wear a mask at a North Shore supermarket while she taunted and filmed workers earlier this week is calling for her to be prosecuted.

Footage widely circulated on social media showed one of the Four Square Torbay workers calmly asking the woman to put a mask on, while she claims she's "medically exempt". 

The woman's mother-in-law, Dale Te Iwimate, has told Newshub that's not true - she has no medical condition. Newshub has contacted the woman for a repsonse to these claims.

Te Iwimate says it's not the first time her daughter-in-law has been involved in incidents during COVID-19 lockdown. In February, when Auckland was at alert level 3, she was filmed allegedly cutting tape off a playground in Browns Bay so her children could play on it - which ended in an altercation with police.

"It's not just embarrassing to me, it's past embarrassing - it's just inherently wrong," Te Iwimate told Newshub.

"She just doesn't want to comply with what the rest of most of society agrees with. Mostly, I don't have a problem with that but I do have a problem when she's publicly flaunting the law… her children were privy to all of this."

Te Iwimate is worried about the impact such incidents are having on her grandchildren. 

"Nevermind the community, she didn't put her children first," Te Iwimate said of the Torbay incident. "It just appalls me. It's just not necessary."

She wanted the police to take action after the February incident. Now, she's calling for them to prosecute.

"I'd be really happy for the police to take further action because she's been educated and educated and educated… it's not even about breaking the law, it's about doing what's right for the community.

"COVID's real… I'm just appalled that she's got children who could be exposed to this and she's just so complacent about the whole thing.

"When my grandchildren are concerned - I just wish she could comply for their sake and the community's," Te Iwimate said.

Newshub has asked police on Thursday whether enforcement action is being considered. On Wednesday, Waitematā east area commander Insp Stefan Sagar said police usually take an "education-first" approach around mask requirements.

Masks were last week made mandatory for people accessing essential services during COVID-19 alert level 4.

Sagar confirmed police officers were called to the Torbay incident about 4:40pm on Tuesday.

"A woman in the store had reportedly become verbally abusive towards staff and other customers at the store after refusing to wear a face covering," he said in a statement on Wednesday

"Police attended the store shortly afterward, but the woman had already left the area," Sagar said, adding they would be investigating further - including reviewing CCTV footage.