Confusion once again on the boundaries of a ring-fenced community in level 4 lockdown has frustrated Hauraki mayor Toby Adams.
On Monday, director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield issued a "bespoke" level 4 lockdown for people around Mangatangi after the area recorded three new Covid-19 cases.
The phones began ringing at Hauraki District Council from residents seeking advice on whether they were inside the boundary and what to do, but Mayor Adams said the Government had given no more information to the council than what was announced to media.
He had received some contact but the council was still unclear on boundaries.
"There was a lot of confusion on where that boundary was."
He said people were relying "100 per cent" on the police cordon to identify borders if they had no internet.
"Lots of people were struggling, they're ringing going 'what do we do? where do we go? where can we get food?' And they're stuck inside.
"Most are pretty savvy on Facebook and the telephone tree so the messages are getting out there now that we're getting them, but as of last night we had no more information than anyone did except for the Government," Adams said from the Kaiaua boundary on Tuesday.
He said the calls to the council were "constant".
"You've got local leaders and local councils that know their community best, share that information with them in confidence so they can get themselves ready. And when the community starts asking when you've made it public, you've got all the answers.
"That's where they turn to first. They don't turn to the Prime Minister to say 'what's the story?'. They try and find it online or they ring their local mayor. Sometimes they get online and you get different information and that adds to the confusion."
He believed many local communities relied upon their councils for information and trusted them.
"Government doesn't give us that same level of trust and give us the information. It's frustrating."
A spokesperson for Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed government officials engaged with the mayor of the Waikato District Council, Allan Sanson, and his chief executive Gavin Ion in the afternoon and evening before the alert level 4 decision went live at 11.59pm on September 21.
"Time was extremely compressed for engagement on boundary positions broader than the mayor and CE, however, their recommendations for the position of the boundary and checkpoints were considered in the final map positions.
"I understand that Mayor Sanson engaged with local government leaders as part of this process."
Also springing to action was local iwi Ngati Paoa, Ngati Whanaunga and the Hauraki Māori Trust Board providing food and welfare packages to whānau and Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki-Thames, which had swab tested 780 people for Covid-19 in the community.
A vaccination bus arrived and a resident said her mother - aged over 80 - had got vaccinated despite being hesitant before.
"She got tested and then got her first vaccination. It's close to home and a bit of a scare for everybody."
Riana Manuel, CEO of Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki, said the marae and local iwi were mobilised assisting Waikato DHB nurses and Hauraki PHO to deliver what the community needed.
"That's how it works, you don't recreate the wheel, we have local boots on the ground and it's been fantastic from that point of view. We're so grateful to all our partners and the community that has shown the courage under fire, and our tamariki who have been super brave."
One of the Covid-19 positive people was a child at Mangatangi School on the Hauraki Plains last week. The school closed and the three household contacts were being moved to quarantine.
The family are linked to a remand prisoner who was at Auckland's Mt Eden Corrections Facility and was released on e-monitored bail to a house in the Firth of Thames on Wednesday, September 8 - when Auckland was still in level 4 lockdown.
Manuel said people were anxious and the two best things they could do was to get swabbed and get vaccinated.
"Our babies have been affected and none of those children are eligible for the vaccine. From 12 years up, we need to get our boots on and get down to those vaccination centres."
Earlier this week, residents said people "are okay" and initially were talking about where they would get to do their "usual Tuesday shop".
They have since been advised they can travel to Pokeno for food, however, there are two local stores that supply essentials.
Anyone failing to comply with the so-called "section 70 notice" or lockdown locally can receive a fine of up to $4000 or imprisonment for up to six months under increased penalties announced this week.
- Additional reporting from NZ Herald