Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Neighbors split up with family after reunion that turned out to be a Zoom birthday party

A couple from Clarks Beach said a neighbor hit them at police for throwing a party at their house on Saturday – but it was a Zoom birthday party. Photo / Getty Images

A couple from Clarks Beach said a neighbor nailed them for throwing a party at their house on Saturday – but there were only two of them in their bubble, celebrating a relative’s birthday via a Zoom video call.

“Maybe they just didn’t like our loud, out of tune vocals,” Tok Tobeck jokes.

Tok Tobeck and her husband were perplexed to receive a visit from two police officers on Sunday, citing a complaint of a “party on their property”. It was only after a little while that “the penny dropped” and they realized the officers had to refer to their Zoom party on Saturday, when they joined a video call to celebrate their niece’s 17th birthday.

“My niece is in her bubble in Manurewa. The call included her grandmother, mother and a few other aunts,” Tobeck told the Herald.

“It was just me and my husband here, but maybe we were louder than we thought,” she added.

Tobeck was out shopping when two police officers visited the Clarks Beach property on Sunday. Her husband said he struggled to understand them through the masks, but they were convinced they had the right address and a neighbor complained that they were breaking lockdown rules and having a party at home on Saturday afternoon.

“It doesn’t make any sense. Other than the noise, there weren’t any cars in the driveway, because it’s just us here. We sang happy birthday pretty loud and out of tune and we got it. sang twice because my daughter, who lives in Dunedin, joined the call a bit late, “Tobeck recalls.

Tobeck is a midwife and says that as a medical professional she is very strict about following alert level rules, so she was baffled to receive a visit from the police about something like that. “I’m really peculiar about this, I don’t want to give Covid to anyone.”

While she agrees with people dobbing others when they suspect bubbles are bursting, she believes there must be stricter rules about what evidence must be provided, to prevent the police. make unnecessary home visits.


“It’s just ridiculous. We must have been on that Zoom call for a quarter of an hour total. We live on a quarter acre section, we have people on either side of us but we are not. not right next to each other, “the woman added.

While she now sees the fun side of it, she worries that other people may have felt intimidated by this kind of police visit.

“If people can file these reports like this [without any evidence], one wonders how many of these incidents are happening. “

Contacted by the Herald, a police spokesperson said authorities had, to date, received a total of 9,767 violation reports online. Of these, there were only 86 people charged and 183 people officially placed in custody.

Tobeck says her husband struggled to understand the cops through their masks, but they left after explaining that the two joined a Zoom party and sang happy birthday to their niece the day before. “We don’t know if that’s it, or if something happens next,” she said.

A police spokesperson told the Herald that “in general the police will follow up on offense reports and talk to these people” and “if they establish that there is no evidence of an offense. , no further action will be taken. Anyone with concerns or issues can follow up. by contacting their local police or calling 105 “.

The couple say they can see the funny side of the “hilarious” incident, but think it’s a shame that “the poor cops had to go through with it. [there] without reason”.

As for her neighbors, she hopes that the next time they have problems with the quality of her singing, they’ll just knock on her door or leave a note in her mailbox. “You can just tell me you don’t like my singing, no need to call the police about it,” she said.

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