Whoever stole the tent East Auckland health workers were using to screen for Covid-19 should return to get tested themselves, police say.

The tent was in a Botany Rd carpark in the Golflands area but locals noticed it missing yesterday morning.

Howick Sergeant Brett Meale appealed for information on the Counties Manukau Police Facebook page.

"If you have got that tent, or you know where it is, we're quite happy if you could just let us know anonymously where we can pick it up from," Meale said.


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"You might save yourself a bit of trouble.

"But if you have been in contact with that tent, I'd suggest you get yourself along here, and get yourself tested for Covid-19."

The tent's disappearance sparked outrage among locals. MP for Pakuranga Simeon Brown called whomever took it a "low life" on Twitter.

"If you know anything about its whereabouts, please contact the police," he added.

East Health Trust chief executive Loretta Hansen previously told the Herald staff members were the first to notice the tent was missing.

"They arrive much earlier than the time the testing station opens at 8am."

The missing tent, which was made with galvanised steel and a heavy duty PVC cover, had been bolted to the ground and was the middle one in a set of three.


The police "are pretty keen to catch" whomever was responsible, she said.


"We are not going to let this stop us from testing. People have been fantastic."

A staff member was able to quickly set up a temporary marquee to ensure they had a covered area, but the original installers replaced it with a new testing tent shortly after.

Hansen said they would like the original back, but it was hard to know what kind of condition it would be in.

"It is very difficult to know what they think they are going to use it for," she said.

"It is really disappointing when you are in the middle of a crisis like we have got and then you have got some Wally that comes along and pinches your tent from a testing station."

Police are investigating the theft and ask anyone with information to contact 105 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

β€’ Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website