Gang members who caught Covid-19 were kept apart on different floors in MIQ facilities to prevent any potential trouble, according to police documents, with staff going so far as to make sure the timing of cigarette breaks never overlapped.
There have been 178 individuals identified since the Delta outbreak in August with gang links, police confirmed to the Herald, according to police assessments of every community case to help decide where they should isolate.
The briefing - which has the individual's name, gender, date of birth, release conditions and any gang association details - was sent to the head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities, senior Defence Force leaders and police staff onsite.
This was for the "purpose of how to provide support onsite", Superintendent Eric Tibbott wrote in a response to an Official Information Act request.
"This may be, for example, housing different gang members on different hotel floors and making certain their cigarette break times don't overlap."
These individual reports for the "Isolation and Quarantine Command Cell" were the only type of police document which mentioned gangs in MIQ, and as such Tibbott declined to release them on privacy grounds.
A spokesperson for Police National Headquarters later confirmed 178 individuals with "existing or previous links to gangs in New Zealand" who have been through MIQ facilities.
This figure did not include anyone who completed their isolation or quarantine at home, as police did not collect this data.
The Herald has previously revealed that half of all community cases in the Delta outbreak were flagged by police as "high risk" and MIQ staff were worried about working in the facilities, according to newly released documents.
A briefing to Chris Hipkins, the Minister for Covid-19 response, on September 24 reveals officials told him that the management of a "number of high-risk community individuals continues to be challenging" following the transmission of the virus which kept Auckland in lockdown.
By this time, new cases of Covid were spreading through members of some gangs in Auckland and their families, individuals living in transitional housing, and other marginalised communities.
"Approximately 5 per cent of people coming across the border usually warrant a high-risk flag but approximately 50 per cent of the community cases currently are," according to a weekly report to Hipkins from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
"The health, wellbeing and safety of our staff remain front-of-mind, and we know that staff are worried about working in these new environments. New Zealand Police have provided some training for our staff on dealing with these sorts of cohorts (de-escalation techniques, etc)."
There were 222 community cases in 107 MIQ rooms at the time of the briefing, according to an MBIE spokeswoman, with another 24 border cases in 15 rooms.
The spokeswoman said the "high risk" flag came from "safety check" police assessments on everyone coming into MIQ facilities.
Hipkins declined to release two other reports as the subject was a Cabinet paper on which final decisions have yet to be made.
"The reference to gang members and associates in these items is of a general nature relating to the role of Police in Managed Isolation and Quarantine, not any specific incident."
Shortly after the briefing to Hipkins, a number of rooms were trashed in the Jet Park facility and extra police staff were rostered on to MIQ. One officer was allegedly kicked in the face by a gang associate who jumped the fence and escaped. The 23-year-old was later arrested and charged.
Following these incidents, more exemptions were granted for positive Covid cases to be put in isolation at home instead of managed facilities. Security guards were posted at these addresses to stop them from leaving, although not always successfully.
Such decisions have infuriated the thousands of New Zealanders living overseas who want to come home but have been unable to secure a room in MIQ through the lottery system.
However, the period of managed isolation has been cut from 14 to seven days followed by isolation at home, until the result of a Covid test on the ninth day comes back negative.