Northland's district health board won't say where the region's positive Covid-19 cases are, citing privacy concerns.
Health boards are free to reveal which territorial authorities the confirmed cases are in and some were already doing so, the NZ Herald reported on Monday.
But Northland's board (DHB) said yesterday it would not be publicly releasing the authority areas - Whangārei, Far North or Kaipara - of Northland's non-recovered cases, which numbered 15 as at 9am yesterday.
Read more: Northland tally hits 20
"Our numbers of confirmed and probable cases in Northland are too small to be reportable at territorial level and risk cases being publicly identifiable," board medical officer of health Dr Catherine Jackson said.
"Unfortunately, people in New Zealand and Northland who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 have been subjected to inappropriate bullying and racism along with their families.
"Our people have a right to privacy and to be treated with kindness and respect."
Jackson said knowing where cases were would not change advice given to people during alert level four, as everyone was expected to spend most of their time at home in their bubble.
However, Jackson did say territorial authority information would be reported if the number of cases in Northland continued to increase, as during the 2019 measles outbreak.
It did not specify how much of an increase would be needed for this information to be released.
Kaitaia's Dr Lance O'Sullivan, who had been vocal about the DHB's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, said on Tuesday the DHB must release location details to ease public anxiety.
"I think it's ludicrous that you are keeping people in the dark and I think we'd all like to know because at the moment, we're all suspicious of someone walking past with a cough," he said.
"Heaps of people are anxious and scared of what's going on so in that sense, information can be security for people."
Although he understood people could be targeted in online bullying, O'Sullivan felt it was more beneficial to give the public more information and in doing so, peace of mind.
"People are making assumptions and coming to conclusions in the absence of clear information so again, it's my opinion and a lot of people I've spoken to in the community here agree, they'd rather know and be aware rather than all the innuendo and rumour."
O'Sullivan was operating a pop-up healthcare facility with a small team at the Kaitaia Warehouse carpark. As well as doing Covid-19 tests, O'Sullivan said it catered to a range of medical assistance requests.
On Tuesday, the DHB announced weekend testing would begin at Northland's seven community-based assessment centres.
Head to the bottom of the story for more details on the centres. Note: the Kawakawa testing centre is now on Raynor Street at the Ngāti Hine Health Trust facility with the same hours.
Having criticised the DHB for not having weekend testing earlier, O'Sullivan said the move to seven-day testing was sensible and would come as a relief for the community.