Harmful drinking has been revealed as the leading factor behind family violence in the Far North during this year's lockdown.
And police data shows Te Hiku is not alone, as the destructive combination reaches across the entire region.
During the first 14 days of lockdown 62 incidents of whānau harm were reported to 111 and went through Whiria Te Muka - a police/Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust partnership based in Kaitaia.
The partnership works to prevent and reduce family harm in the Far North while striving for mana tangata.
Of the 62 incidents, 18 were triggered by harmful alcohol consumption – eight were classified as high risk by frontline police .
The most severe incidents involve threats of serious harm, sexual violence, strangulation, people wanted for arrest, serious psychological harm or physical injuries, weapons and a fear for personal safety.
Outside of lockdown, excess alcohol remained the largest contributor to family harm, according to Whiria Tu Muka data.
Between January 1 and June 30 last year, alcohol was involved in 20 per cent of all whānau harm reports.
Alcohol Prevention Harm Officer Constable Rasau Kalivati said lockdown inflamed a harmful cocktail of alcohol consumption and stress.
"We know alcohol is a factor that exacerbates family harm. Alert level restrictions can add pressure to families, which in turn can prompt people to drink more alcohol and potentially hurt those close to them."
"Police are here to help, no matter the alert level. If you are in danger or fear for your safety, dial 111," Kalivati said.
He believed alcohol sales hadn't been "restricted much" during this lockdown compared to the last alert level 4.
Of the 24 premises in Te Hiku that hold current off-licences issued by the Far North District Council (FNDC), three were selling alcohol remotely online via contactless delivery. A further eight continue to sell booze as part of their usual grocery trade.
Te Hiku Iwi Development chief executive Carol Berghan described the remote sale of alcohol allowed by FNDC and "without restrictions" as "hugely concerning" to the iwi.
"What we are seeing as a result are unacceptable and preventable reports of family violence," she said.
Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi said the nature of social drinking changed drastically during lockdown because of restricted personal movement and "cabin fever".
"It's an uncertain time. There are so many conspiracy theories and so much misinformation out there, and the fact is that the use of alcohol is predictable because it's the path of least resistance."
Piripi said alcohol consumption was potentially driven by people thinking of the current situation as "a bit of a holiday".
Last year, Northland police attended 127 callouts linked to alcohol during alert level 4. The majority were in the Whangārei district (88) followed by the Far North (39).
When the region shifted to alert level 3 this figure drastically dropped, with police attending 61 alcohol-related crimes.
Piripi believed Māori, in particular, had an opportunity to "exercise abstinence" from heavy drinking during lockdown.
"To have the mana to be able to say no. There's mana right there. That in itself is the sort of thing Māori men in particular need to have in our lives, otherwise we don't feel fulfilled," Piripi said.
The Advocate contacted FNDC for comment but was yet to hear back at edition time.
If you're experiencing family harm:
· If it is an emergency and the situation requires immediate assistance, phone 111.
· NZ WOMEN'S REFUGE (0800 733 843): Provides information, support and advice for women experiencing family violence, as well as help in a crisis.
· HEY BRO (0800 439 276) - 24-hour, seven-day support line for men who feel they're going to harm a whānau member or loved one.
· SHINE (0508 744 633) - Offers helpline, advocacy, refuges, Kidshine and safety programmes.
· LIFELINE (0800 543 354) - 24-hour, seven-day confidential support by qualified counsellors and trained volunteers.
· YOUTHLINE (0800 376 633) - Provides mental health-related counselling, mentoring and advice for young people.