The man behind a malicious online rumour about the origins of Covid-19's return to New Zealand admits they are awaiting a visit from cops.
He had claimed that a member of the family at the centre of the new cluster had supposedly entered a managed isolation facility.
In a detailed account of how the rumour started, film-maker David Farrier has published a conversation with the man behind the debunked conspiracy claims that led Government ministers and the country's top health official to publicly denounce the fictitious claims.
The man, who works in international development and aid, says he is incredibly remorseful and ruing the three minutes it took to compose and post the harmful rumour.
"I made a poor decision to put that in writing on Reddit," he told journalist Dylan Reeve in a transcript published on www.Webworm.co.
"After I deleted the post, I was wondering about the 2015 Harmful Digital Communications Act. So I am half expecting to see if I am going to get called up there ...
"To be honest I may be hung out to dry, and it may be fully justified for the police to put me up under the act.
"I would almost rather the police charge me, and I can do the proper reparations.
"I will take the consequences, because honestly it's one of the worst things I 've ever done, articulating that, " adding what he did was inexcusable.
In a text to Reeve published after the interview he wrote: "If the police contact you about me, then send them my way, I want to make it right with the family in whatever way I can."
He said he would be willing to pay the family at the centre of the rumour as much as he could afford to compensate for the distress he has caused because of the baseless rumour.
The man, who has posted on Reddit for the past nine years, said he had been in a fight-or-flight mode for the last 48 hours.
"I just realised how bad it was on Saturday, which is when I went in and tried to clean up as much as I could, but by then it's got a life of its own."
The man said he thought the rumour was legitimate at the time as he had army friends involved in isolation facility security.
However, he believed after chatting with people at his work he had a second source that confirmed his version an isolation breach at the heart of the latest outbreak.
"And that was why I put it down there in a bullet-pointed list, and people could see that and go, 'Oh, there was a guy in ...' he told Reeve.
"It was like I had perfected this message of self-destruction without even realising it."
But he said when hate groups started republishing the rumour he knew it was out of control.
He said he had deleted the post before the end of the day and was horrified where it went online but ready to face the consequences of his actions.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins said in a press conference on Saturday that people should not believe everything on social media.
The Covid-19 response team then tweeted: "We've heard reports of a rumour that the current cluster is linked to someone entering one of our managed isolation facilities.
"There is no evidence to support this. We ask people to stop circulating those rumours as they are counter-productive to our efforts against Covid-19."
This morning Farrier told the Herald he hoped sharing the transcript could help people better understand better how conspiracy theories spread and the victims they leave in their wake.
"This recent piece demonstrates the origins of the conspiracy theory we all saw shared en masse on social media over the weekend.
"It's my hope that if people can see the origin of what turned into deeply racist posts, people will learn to be less quick to share and boost these bad ideas.
"People are suffering from brain worms at the moment, and we have to treat that!"
Today police were assessing information relating to these rumours which were peddled on social media over the weekend.
A police spokesperson said that included taking into account the views of the individual who was at the centre of the false information.
She and the family just wanted "to move on from this matter" as they focused on their health and wellbeing.
Police would be making a further assessment as a result of the news published today to see if any further investigative steps were required, said the spokesperson.