'Reckless, slap in the face': Alleged influencer party infuriates locked-down Aucklanders

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 17 Oct 2021, 3:01PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

'Reckless, slap in the face': Alleged influencer party infuriates locked-down Aucklanders

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 17 Oct 2021, 3:01PM

Footage of a large party in central Auckland has infuriated people doing it tough in lockdown.

Auckland is currently under Covid-19 alert level 3, which means no indoor gatherings – but footage plastered across social media shows a large number of people allegedly disregarding this rule.

Police have confirmed receiving multiple reports about the video which are currently being assessed.

The video, posted to Instagram stories (and subsequently deleted), is believed to show an Auckland apartment packed with young adults drinking, dancing and kissing as the captions acknowledged how "packed" the party was.

It was screen recorded and has been posted widely, with people furious at the lack of distancing.

The Herald has been told the party happened on Auckland's North Shore and carried on until well after 4am on Sunday morning.

One of those posting videos from the party is a social media influencer and "fitness model" with tens of thousands of followers.

In a statement, Goff told the Herald anyone attending a party in level 3 was undermining the hard work of Aucklanders to suppress the virus and putting themselves and the wider community at risk.

"After a fantastic Super Saturday that saw record numbers of Aucklanders doing the right thing, it's a shame to see a small minority of selfish people choosing to behave like idiots.

"Parties are exactly the sorts of activities that can lead to a super spreader event.

"But this does not reflect the vast majority of Aucklanders who are continuing to follow the health rules to protect their families and community."

The footage has also been condemned on social media.

"These people are reckless and are only thinking of themselves. Not thinking of their parents or grandparents," said one person on Facebook.

The footage was also shared to Twitter where it garnered equal fury.

"Nah because Auckland hasn't had one of the strictest lockdowns just so some entitled, drunk rich people could dry hump each other."

"What a slap in the face to everyone doing their part, and those just trying to get home. I hate people."

A police spokesperson told the Herald they have received multiple reports through the non-emergency line but would not confirm if they were investigating the reports, as it was too early to know.

"At this stage it appears they are in the 'reporting' phase of the process- as they are only just coming in to us ... which is why I suggested ... Check in with us in the coming days and we can see if we can provide an update."

It is alleged one of the guests at the party used an essential worker exemption to travel from outside of Auckland.

Meanwhile, police have also warned they will take prosecution action against organisers of two anti-lockdown protests "in the coming days".

Yesterday about 2000 people congregated at the Auckland Domain and about 1000 at Kensington Park in Whangārei. No arrests have been made at this time.

"While those in attendance generally conducted themselves in a calm manner and adhered to rules around mask wearing and distancing between smaller separate bubbles, the gathering was by its very nature a significant breach of Covid-19 alert level 3 requirements," Superintendent Shanan Gray said.

"Police confirm that they will be taking prosecution action against a number of individual organisers in the coming days."

New Zealand recorded 51 cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, 47 in Auckland and four in the Waikato.

As of 9am, 28 of the cases had been linked - 18 of those were household contacts, the Ministry of Health said in its 1pm update.

Another 23 cases are unlinked, with investigations continuing to help find their source.

The four new Waikato cases include two that are known contacts of existing cases - one in Hamilton and one in Raglan. One of these people was already in managed isolation.

The Herald has contacted the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for further comment.