COVID-19: Officials reveal five Jet Park quarantine rooms smashed up as workers deal with infected gang affiliates

The Associate Health Minister has confirmed a gang member quarantining at the Jet Park managed isolation (MIQ) facility in Auckland had to be moved after trashing their hotel room. 

It comes amid reports COVID-infected people with gang links have been intimidating the staff there with significant damage caused to five rooms since the beginning of the Delta outbreak.

A source inside MIQ told Newshub investigations reporter Michael Morrah earlier this week the behaviour inside Jet Park was worrying.

Jet Park is the main Auckland facility that accommodates COVID-19 cases.

"The behaviour of some guests is threatening and it's making staff question their safety," the source said.

Speaking to The AM Show on Thursday, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare said a police investigation was underway at Jet Park, confirming a gang member had been moved after trashing their room.

"I can confirm there has been a challenge there and troubles there," he said. "There has been a bit of vandalism - the extent of that I'm not completely sure.

"This is obviously a disruption in our quarantine facility space and I know that the police have been engaged so that we can continue to keep the community safe while also stopping this kind of behaviour.

"It's just not acceptable."

In a statement, the joint head of MIQ Brigadier Rose King confirmed damage had been caused to five Jet Park rooms since the Delta outbreak.

"Of the five rooms, one room had significant damage including a double glazed window broken, hole punched in the door, curtain rail pulled down, broken chair, broken TV remote, phone and alarm clock," King said.

"The remaining rooms had minor damage, for example ripped/damaged curtains, stained carpets and drawing on walls (from small children) and a broken chair (which was not broken intentionally)."

King said staff worked hard to make sure people staying at MIQ facilities were safe.

"Any poor behaviour by people in our facilities is taken very seriously," she said.

"Staff are encouraged to raise any concerns directly with us. For community cases, their time in MIQ is unplanned, at short notice and, understandably, can be incredibly stressful as they have to rearrange their lives at short notice.

"MIQ remains a dynamic environment and our ongoing response is geared to respond quickly to change."

It comes after a COVID-positive man, who Stuff reported as having "significant gang associations", allegedly escaped Jet Park on Monday and was charged with kicking an officer in the face. 

The man was also charged with intentionally damaging a police vehicle and breaching the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act. A spokesperson for the police said the man was later found in Māngere after escaping about 3:15pm.

"The staff involved took all necessary precautions with PPE," the spokesperson said.

King said on Monday described that incident as "a disappointing and unacceptable breach".