Almost three-quarters of Aucklanders are wearing masks in supermarkets - but just half have taken the protective measure against the spread of Covid-19 in one of the city's most deprived suburbs, according to a Herald on Sunday survey.
The informal survey involved counting mask-use - which is not required at shops but has been strongly encouraged in Auckland by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - among the first 50 teens or adults leaving eight suburban supermarkets this week.
Overall use was 73 per cent. Countdown Mt Roskill shoppers were the most masked at 86 per cent, but use fell to 66 per cent at New World Manurewa and 50 per cent at Pak'nSave Māngere.
Mask-wearing ranged from 70 and 72 per cent at Countdown Takapuna and Pak'nSave Glen Innes, 76 per cent at Countdown Botany, 82 per cent at New World Remuera and 84 per cent at Countdown Pt Chevalier.
A leading south Auckland doctor says distribution of masks in low socio-economic communities needs to improve.
Dr Rawiri Jansen, a Papakura GP and National Hauora Coalition clinical director, said the findings matched what he'd seen in the community.
"It's fantastic how people are responding to the messaging ... people are doing a really good job and we've just got to keep encouraging them, when you're outside the house, wear a mask."
An unmasked woman at Pak'nSave Māngere said her family were given disposable masks after being tested following potential exposure at their church, but she'd forgotten them.
The woman, whose family tested negative, wasn't sure what she'd do once their supply ran out.
"Expense does play a part, especially for the Pacific community."
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Five million of the Government's general supply of masks was last month sent nationwide; 1.6 million face coverings were dispatched to Auckland social sector groups, including food banks, churches, iwi, aged-care organisations and city missions.
More work was needed to get masks to those in need, Jansen said.
"I do hear from some parts of some communities that ... it's kind of lumpy how the distribution's happening. Over time that will get straightened out and we'll get distribution into the right places ... how we do that probably has a bit of complexity to it, and we just need to break through and get it done.
"I don't think there's a great resistance here. I think people are really embracing the idea of masking up when they're in community spaces."
He understood where the Māngere woman and other non-mask wearers who said they'd forgotten their masks, were coming from.
"I've had to go back for my mask sometimes. I'm getting better and I'm really interested in getting a good habit locked in, and I think that's true for a lot of people."
Outside Countdown Mt Roskill, the Herald on Sunday witnessed a masked middle-aged woman repeatedly challenging an unmasked older woman, telling her: "You put a face covering over your f****n face".
But police nationally were not aware of any issues or complaints relating to wearing or not wearing masks, a police spokeswoman said.
Masks are not mandatory in shops and police assistant commissioner Richard Chambers has previously told the public to remember some are exempted from wearing masks on public transport - the only place they're required - for medical or other reasons.
The Herald on Sunday's informal survey showed there would be little resistance to requiring mask use beyond public transport into workplaces, schools and shops, University of Otago Professor of Public Health Nick Wilson said.
"What you're seeing is most people want us to get over this and get back to normality and if that involves the slight inconvenience of masking up, they'll do it."
Wilson and other experts have advocated for mandatory mask use in nearly all public settings under level 2.5 , which Auckland remains at until at least September 16.
Ardern has told Aucklanders, in whose city the latest outbreak began, to "please wear them" outside the home, although it's only legally required on public transport.
"I will not rule out mandating their use in future if we see people failing to use them as we're encouraging them to do."
Wilson thinks that should have happened earlier, saying if the country had followed Taiwan's lead and "masked up" in February the latest lockdown might have been avoided.
Kiwis were still well-positioned to return to elimination, he said.
"It's not like we're going to be in a situation like France, Spain or the US where's it's just a chronic issue until we get a vaccine. Because we're a small island nation with good border control, we've got a good prospect of going back to our elimination status, which means we can completely relax again."
That's what Pek Maoate is hoping for. The Māngere father was wearing his mask when he visited his local Pak'nSave this week.
He's wearing it to protect himself, his family, his community and his country.
"If everybody does their part we should be able to get rid of this virus. We've just got to do it."