MIQ officials have transferred a family with Covid-19 to a different isolation facility after a mum angry about her children's meal had a highly visible meltdown - leaving her room against regulation, screaming profanities at staff and military personnel, throwing an item against the wall in the hotel lobby and appearing to climb over the reception desk.
"They don't want us to come down. This is what they're going to f***ing get," the woman said as she walked towards the lobby at the Novotel & Ibis Ellerslie hotel, which opened this week to guests with Covid-19.
The confrontation, which she broadcast live on Facebook in a video she titled "F** yous Novotel", has been viewed widely since it was posted yesterday afternoon.
"I called you to tell you we got f***ing pizza that's already eaten - given to my f***ing kids," the mother yelled moments later in the lobby, as she pounded on the door to the hotel office - demanding a woman who had talked to her earlier on the phone come out. "You really f***ing done it now. F***ing got your f***ing s****y pizza."
In other social media posts, the woman explained that her children had been waiting hours for their lunch that day. Previously in her stay, she said it took a day for personnel to give the family Pamol for her sick child.
In a statement to the Herald, Joint Head of MIQ, Brigadier Rose King estimated that pizzas were delivered to the family at about 3pm.
"We have assurance that the food could not have been delivered incomplete," King said. "The most likely scenario is that the pizza became cosmetically damaged during the delivery process.
"Workers at our facilities do their very best to ensure that people's needs are met, however, sometimes things don't go perfectly and we apologise for that."
King described the woman as having been abusive over the phone over "staff attempts to reason with her". Her decision to then leave the room and confront staff - despite having tested positive for Covid-19 - has resulted in some now having to isolate "due to the high-risk bubble breach" and other staff not returning to work today over fears for their safety, she said.
"I understand that being in quarantine, especially with children, can be very stressful, even more so for New Zealanders who never expected to be in that situation," King added. "Abuse towards anyone, however, is not acceptable."
The woman did wear a mask during the confrontation, but it fell below her nose as she yelled at staff and into her phone.
"They're f***ing treating us like we're f***ing zombies," she told her Facebook followers as she walked back to her room. "They gave me pizza that's already eaten to my kids. Who does that? F***ing hell. F***ing bulls***. This hotel can go f***ing eat s***."
Her frustration had been building since earlier in the week, after arriving at the hotel with her family.
"I understand that you guys are trying your best," she said in an earlier post, as she more calmly explained the delayed Pamol delivery. "I don't want to be the type of person to put essential workers in a s***hole - especially now, because they're working in f***ing lockdown. But I mean like if that's how they're going to treat us when we're here, I'm going to f***ing go all out.
"Don't promise us that we're going to be well taken care of and then now that we're here you guys are not sticking to your promise."