Auckland Mongrel Mob members isolating after woman with COVID-19 goes home to gang pad

Auckland members of the Mongrel Mob are in isolation after a woman who lives at their Takanini gang pad returned there while waiting on the results of a COVID-19 test that later came back positive.

The woman went to Middlemore Hospital's emergency department last Wednesday, the gang says, presenting with a health condition unrelated to COVID-19.

She was later tested for coronavirus, but discharged herself from the hospital before finding out whether she was positive.

She then went to the Mongrel Mob Pasifika gang pad in Takanini, south Auckland, where a spokesperson for the gang says she lives. It's here that she's believed to have infected another member of the gang.

She was later tracked to the property, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said at Wednesday's coronavirus press conference, and taken to Auckland quarantine facility the Jet Park Hotel.

He explained she returned to the gang pad with her whanau, which included her partner and a young child - though a Mongrel Mob spokesperson says there was no child involved.

"Both she and others who may have been contacts have been very well-engaged and cooperative with the follow-up contact tracing - so that's really what we're after here," Dr Bloomfield said.

"We need to find cases, and we need to stop any further spread. And in this case, there's nothing that I'm concerned about."

Sonny Fatupaito, of the Waikato Mongrel Mob, confirmed the woman is in a managed isolation facility and that all members have been urged to cooperate, get tested and isolate with their whanau.

"Like all of Aotearoa we want to eliminate COVID-19 in our communities and that's why we are cooperating and supporting the Government's Delta strategy," he said.

"There are a lot of stressed families because of the uncertainty of Delta but we're hanging in there. We are working closely with provider South Seas Healthcare and The Cause Collective to get support to our whanau that are isolating.

"Our thanks go to Danny Leaoasavai'I aka Brotha D, a close supporter and friend of the Mongrel Mob Kingdom, who is leading the MM Pasifika Crisis Response Team Management in south Auckland for this cluster."

Prior to the Delta outbreak, the Mongrel Mob was mobilising to run a COVID-19 education workshop for its members and their whanau in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), Fatupaito says.

"This event was to be held to ensure our people were well educated and equipped with accurate information regarding the seriousness of the COVID-19 Delta variant and the impacts it could have in the future for our whanau."

He says as soon as practicable, the Mongrel Mob will look to hold the workshop alongside a pop-up vaccination site for members wanting to get vaccinated.

"Our battle has been against misinformation," Fatupaito added.

"I have encouraged our people to do their research, highlighting that research is not Googling, scrolling your Facebook newsfeed, or watching YouTube or 4Chan to search for the results you are hoping to find to be 'true'.

"These are called confirmation biases and are quickly and easily ruled out when doing actual research."

Newshub contacted the police and Ministry of Health about the case, but both declined to comment for privacy reasons.

However a ministry spokesperson said health agencies were working with iwi and Pacific social service providers to reach communities on a range of COVID-19 issues, including vaccination and testing.

"Auckland Regional Public Health Service contact tracing teams report a good level of cooperation from cases and contacts linked to the current outbreak," they added.

The NZ Herald reports a mobile testing station was sent to the gang pad, where one Mongrel Mob member tested positive and was taken into quarantine and several others tested negative.

Asked about the incident at Wednesday's coronavirus press conference, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins remained mum on further details.

"We share information that we collect from people where there's a public health rationale to do so," he said.

"We don't typically disclose the background information on positive COVID-19 cases or their contacts. Unless there's a very good reason to do that, I don't intend to start doing that now.

"But what I can do is provide reassurance to everybody that we're seeing a great amount of cooperation and willingness to engage."