So I see that yesterday we had a large gathering of well over 100 people for a gang member's funeral in Auckland.
News reports said a large convoy congregated for the tangihanga of the gang member, dozens of people spilled onto the road to escort the hearse, hordes of people packed together, several touching the car and clasping hands.
As you'll be well aware, we are in level 2. Or 2.5 even. Either way, there are to be no gatherings of more than 50 people for tangihanga and funerals. That's the very clearly publicised rule and one that has left many families absolutely heartbroken.
I've lost count of the number of families who've contacted us with heartbreaking stories of how they've been unable to send off loved ones, unable to have family members present at funerals, unable to say goodbye to dying relatives due to quarantine rules, or border restrictions.
Countless people have taken the rules seriously, obeyed them, and suffered greatly because of them.
Which is why this is just taking the mickey.
I mean come on. Do the rules not apply to everyone? If you're in a gang, is it different for you? In order to conduct large funerals at level 2, should we get Mongrel Mob patches just to ensure we can get away with it?
Because that's what happened. They got away with it. No consequences, nothing.
Police knew about it alright, they took calls on it from people clearly concerned (and quite possibly in shock) at what they were seeing. And do you know what the police did?
They "reminded them" that we were in level 2.
Oh phew, thank God they did that, what a relief.
They gave them a good "reminder".
The Counties Manukau South Commander Inspector said in one report that "police were aware a tangihanga was taking place for a Mongrel Mob member… however no one [was] arrested".
No arrests, just reminders.
In a most ironic twist, despite knowing about it, and receiving calls on it, and still doing nothing about it, the police also encouraged those who felt "alarmed" by it, or "unsafe" to call 111. What for? More reminders?
Would someone come and waggle their finger at them? Would they hand out Covid posters with the rules printed on them? Offer up some hand sanitiser?
What was going to happen when you call 111? Other than the police saying, "Oh all those hordes of people breaking the rahui? Yeah, we know, okay, thanks, bye".
What a waste of time. Why have rules and restrictions if the first sign of people flouting them is going to be ignored?
The police line that they're taking an "educational" approach just doesn't cut the mustard.
We are seven months into this pandemic here and you're telling me there are some people who still don't know the rules? Give me a break.