South Auckland Black Power gang members are taking health and safety measures into their own hands in a bid to protect local children from Covid-19.
Since day one of the lockdown, Auckland Black Power president Mark Pitman and a few of his boys head down to the Jolson Rd shops in Mt Wellington each morning from 7.30am.
They put on their facemasks and gloves, and get to work disinfecting public spots in their local community such as playgrounds and bus stops.
"We want to protect our children from catching the virus. You see people spit on the walls of the bus spot and then a kid could go whip they hand in it," Pitman said.
"This isn't about money or fame. We just want to do our bit to help our community."
Pitman used to run a pest-control business until he handed it down to his son. Since the company has been out of action during lockdown, he has been using his son's supplies for his disinfecting voluntary work.
"As much has we try to stop our children from jumping on the playground and things they still do, so we want to ensure they are safe."
Pitman said he was disappointed Auckland City Council hadn't stepped up to do the work instead.
His crew were only allowed to disinfect their local area due to lockdown rules and he was worried that other areas in need weren't getting the same treatment which meant children were being put at risk.
"We've had to stick to our community due to lockdown rules but it is concerning that other communities like ours are getting the same treatment.
"The seats outside of hospitals and medical clinics are the worst, think about how many sick people use them and risk of spreading Covid there."
Pitman said police had seen them doing the work and were fine with it.
"The response we've had from the community has been positive. One of the bus drivers stopped me the other day to say 'keep up the good work' and that it was needed."
• Premium - Gangs of New Zealand: Inside the 'uncontrolled growth' of the gang scene
• How gangs work: Organised crime, drugs, how prospects earn their patch
• Premium - Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom leader's relatives join rival Comancheros gang
• Western Bay of Plenty public meeting held over gang violence
Local resident Joshua Chellatamby said many of the children living in the area didn't have luxury of staying indoors to play PlayStation or watch television so it was difficult to keep them indoors.
"It's just that extra assurance to know that they will be safe if they do sneak outside and play on the playground."
Auckland Council's head of operations community facilities Paul Amaral said all Auckland Council playgrounds "have been closed as a result of Covid-19, so there is no need for cleaning to take place on these facilities at this time".
"While parks remain open for the public to use for fresh air and exercise, people should be staying away from playgrounds and other facilities including skate park facilities and pump tracks," he said.
Police and the Ministry of Health both declined to comment.