'Zero Covid' among Waikato gang members - Mob spokeswoman

Author
Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Oct 2021, 6:21PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

'Zero Covid' among Waikato gang members - Mob spokeswoman

Author
Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Oct 2021, 6:21PM

The Waikato Mongrel Mob's spokeswoman has denied any members have tested positive for Covid-19, despite allegations from the Government.

Speaking with Heather Du Plessis-Allan, Waikato Mongrel Mob spokeswoman Louise Hutchinson denied that any members in the region have tested positive for Covid-19.

Following comments Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins made after the 1pm press conference, Hutchinson said a lot of work had been done to "counter what the Minister had to say".

"From our research we believe there is zero Covid amongst gang members in the Waikato," she said.

Earlier today, Hipkins revealed the Waikato cluster is a gang network.

Covid-19 response Minister Chris Hipkins revealed the Waikato cluster is a gang network. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Covid-19 response Minister Chris Hipkins revealed the Waikato cluster is a gang network. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"Certainly there would be some evidence to suggest that there has been spread amongst gang networks," he said.

However, he didn't have specific numbers on exactly how many.

When asked if she knew which gang the current cluster is linked to, Hutchinson said she didn't believe the cluster is linked to any particular gang.

"We believe this has come from yesterday's media that went on," she said.

Yesterday, it was revealed the head of Waikato's Mongrel Mob chapter was given an essential worker exemption to travel in and out of Auckland last weekend.

In a statement, via a spokesperson, Fatupaito said he has been liaising with health officials and police to assist in reaching people in communities within the gang's chapters and their whanau in Auckland.

He was asked to travel to Auckland by South Seas Healthcare, which has been co-ordinating much of the response to the South Auckland clusters.

Hawke's Bay-based Mongrel Mob life member Harry Tam was also granted an essential workers exemption to travel into locked-down Auckland.

Hipkins didn't know whether the Hamilton index case had gang links and he was reluctant to discuss which cases were associated with gangs and which ones weren't.

"We know categorically that there is no Covid among gang members in the Waikato," Hutchinson said.

Waikato Mongrel Mob spokesperson Louise Hutchinson. Photo / Andrew Warner

Waikato Mongrel Mob spokesperson Louise Hutchinson. Photo / Andrew Warner

In terms of Covid-19 cases among Mongrel Mob members in Auckland, Hutchinson said there were "around four" cases among the Pacific chapter.

Hutchinson said these members were linked to the Assemblies of God (AOG) Church of Samoa cluster.

"We've just ensured that cluster that we had was appropriately dealt with and was shut down and it has been," she told Newstalk ZB.

From what Hutchinson knows, no members in Auckland breached their bubbles, however became infected due to congested housing.

"This Delta variant spreads really quickly in congested housing," she said.

"Our focus was just to get in there and to do what we can to keep our people safe and to ensure the population of Auckland was safe as well."