Friends of a South Auckland coolstore worker who died from Covid-19 have paid tribute to the father of four.
Alan Te Hiko, in his 50s, died on Friday after battling the disease for several weeks in Middlemore Hospital's intensive care unit.
He worked at the Americold coolstore factory in Mt Wellington alongside the index case of the South Auckland cluster, and was the first New Zealand Covid death in more than three months.
In a post on Facebook, colleague Kennedy Hutaue called Te Hiko a great boss.
"Hearing the news about you ... mate ... to myself you were more than my team leader, you were a friend and a older brother for some of us.
"You just got on with the job, always had our backs and stood up for us too, always had something smart to say and your cheeky comeback lines."
Te Hiko was described as a "hard Warriors supporter" who had all the jerseys.
"So many memories boss for a lot of us. You were what a team leader is, always leading from the front. You can rest now boss with your feet up and watch your Warriors from above."
Another workmate Michael Tonga described Te Hiko as a "natural-born leader".
"Never going to forget what you have done for us and taught us while being our leader ... you always lead from the front and always was the hardest worker on the floor who did everything he could to make things easier for the rest of the team.
"I would love the league banter as well with you and your Warriors and even had the audacity to come to work with the NZ flag knowing full well I had the Tonga flag in the office during the RLWC.
"I have the utmost respect and love for you as a work colleague and a friend."
It is understood Te Hiko was originally from Tokoroa and had recently returned to the town to see family.
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said family were able to contact Te Hiko by video call in hospital and a couple of close family members were able to visit him wearing full PPE.
Five new confirmed Covid cases were announced on Sunday - four community cases linked to the Mt Roskill church cluster and one in managed isolation.
There are 75 people linked to the community cluster who remain at the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 58 people who have tested positive for Covid-19.
There are four people in hospital; two are in North Shore Hospital's general ward, one is in a general ward at Middlemore Hospital and one is in ICU in Waikato Hospital.
The total number of active cases is 116. Of those, 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 77 are community cases.