It's melodramatic for te Pāti Māori to say easing restrictions before vaccination rates in Auckland for Māori are super high would be akin to modern genocide.
But it's clear that if the outbreak gets out of control, young Māori and Pasifika would bear the brunt.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern all but conceded this point when she said coverage would need to hit 90 per cent-plus before level 2 could be contemplated, if case numbers started rising steeply.
It's a reasonable and even necessary position.
We know the virus hunts the unvaccinated, we know young Māori and Pasifika make up the majority of active cases, and we know Government decisions about who to prioritise - and not prioritise - has contributed to them being the most unvaccinated groups.
And we know many of them live in the south and west Auckland suburbs where cases continue to pop up.
Herald data guru Keith Ng has crunched the double-dose numbers in those suburbs: Mount Wellington Central (62.1 per cent), Favona East (48.7), Mangere Central (44.4), Manurewa Central (55.4), Clover Park North (48.6), Red Beach East (52.5), Papakura Central (52.2), Henderson Central (59.3).
Those are for all eligible people, so the proportions for young Māori and Pasifika will be much lower.
It would take months to hit 90 per cent for those groups in those suburbs, which could push out level 2 in Auckland towards the end of the year if case numbers were skyrocketing.
Fortunately, public health teams are still keeping a lid on case numbers, but they're on the rise.
The R value is 1.2 or 1.3, which is evident in Auckland's growing number of unlinked cases in the past 14 days: 58 yesterday, the sixth consecutive day the number has risen.
The number of active contacts (though this includes Waikato and Northland) has also risen from 1410 a week ago to 2310 yesterday.
And it's likely these numbers will grow further, given that they're yet to reflect the impact of allowing outdoor picnics, which only started six days ago.
So the key question is this: what level of vaccination coverage - especially for those vulnerable groups in suburbs where the virus persists - is enough to keep hospitals from being overrun?
"If cases are going up and you ease restrictions, that's just going to add fuel to the fire," says Covid-19 modeller Professor Michael Plank.
It's a complex equation with many variables, but there could be a case when coverage hits 70 per cent, he says.
"If we've got 70 per cent double-dosed and cases are low and going down, that might be a safe situation to ease restrictions. But if cases were going up steeply, then it wouldn't be."
Auckland is still about a month away from 70 per cent - unless everyone waiting for a second jab decides to cut the time between jabs to three weeks.
As for the Waikato and Northland, Ardern said the ongoing level of uncertainty means it's too dangerous to move to level 2 until at least Friday.
Things are looking rosier for the Waikato, where there are no unlinked cases, and no cases at all yesterday. And while coverage in some places where cases have been are low - Raglan has only 42 per cent double-dosed - testing levels have been high.
But in Northland only 1.1 per cent of the region's population has been tested.
There's also a question mark over whether the right people are getting tested, given the likelihood that the case who travelled there interacted with people who are less inclined to get tested.
The number of contacts (nine) and locations of interest (six) so far are small, but there are also 691 contacts whose location isn't yet available, according the Health Ministry.
At least the police found the case's travel companion late last night - and she wasn't in Northland.
Ardern will also be aware of the risk of public compliance crumbling because Northlanders are justifiably angry about being in lockdown because of a rule-breaking, uncooperative Aucklander.
Public appetite to comply with lockdown rules is also why Ardern has basically ruled out returning Auckland to level 4, even though there's been some transmission in level 3 workplaces.
She also didn't ease any restrictions in Auckland or sign off reopening schools, which would have been a sign that she'd given up to Delta.
Following last week's confusing comments about elimination, that's something she's had to clarify she isn't doing.