Model dropped after 'thoughtless' Auckland party

A model and social media influencer has been dropped by her agency as the fallout continues over a wild party on Auckland's North Shore that flouted Covid-19 lockdown rules.

The New Zealand Herald understands the party took place at a large rental property in Redvale, a rural area north of Albany, on Saturday night.

Auckland is at the centre of the Delta outbreak and has been on lockdown and alert level 3 for two months. Neighbouring regions Waikato and Northland are also at level 3 as the Covid cases have spread there. The rest of New Zealand is currently at alert level 2.

Videos of the party, some of which have subsequently been deleted, show an apartment packed with at least 50 young adults drinking, dancing and kissing, with some gyrating together on a table.

Modelling agency Verano Management has dropped client Charlie Wilson, indicating it was aware of her involvement in the party.

The agency said it was "dealing" with the situation and were "no longer representing" Wilson on its platform.

"We are aware of the current situation regarding one of our creators and are in the process of dealing with it.

"Thank you to those who alerted us to the incident. We are no longer representing @chxrlieWilsonn. We do not condone the events of the past 24 hours by anyone involved.

"Thank you for bringing the issue to our attention. Stay home and stay safe."

Verano Management helps grow and monetise clients' social media audience. They take a percentage of creators' income from sites such as Patreon, OnlyFans and Fansly, reinvesting earnings into paid promotions.

Wilson's social media accounts, including Instagram, Twitter and TikTok have since been removed.

The Herald has attempted to contact both Wilson and Verano Management for further comment.

'One-fingered salute to community'

Police have received multiple complaints after a video showing people apparently partying at the North Shore house was posted online.

Footage has been circulating on Instagram of the event attended by dozens of young adults.

One partygoer posted that attending the party and breaking the rules was "a huge regret" and a "selfish" and "stupid decision".

About 2000 people attended an anti-lockdown protest rally at the Auckland Domain on Saturday.

Waning compliance has been a growing concern in this Delta outbreak, and the Government has blamed it for the rise in cases.

Albany Ward councillor John Watson said the party, believed to be in Redvale, had angered people in light of sacrifices everyone had been making, RNZ reported today.

"This is kind of a one-fingered salute to the community as a whole I think."

The vociferous backlash once the video emerged was understandable as it was potentially a superspreader event, he said.

"They're really annoyed that people could be as thoughtless and stupid to do something like this at this stage."

The expectation is that police will pursue an investigation, otherwise it would be a terrible example to set to the rest of the community.

Police have said they do not have any further comment at this stage.

Though he didn't believe it was a political statement Watson said it went beyond people being tired of restrictions. "I don't think there'll be much sympathy for the 'we're getting tired of the lockdown' routine."

Psychologist Jacqui Maguire said there was very high compliance last year when people took on the message of following guidelines to protect family and community members.

"Whilst in 2020 people might have been very scared for their own health, we may now have a very large proportion of the population that says 'I've done my bit and I'm vaccinated and therefore I'll be okay'".

Maguire said behavioural psychology and psychology of motivation showed people's self-interest often came first.

"When we think of the longevity of the restrictions there isn't a clear plan out for some people," she said, and those who are vaccinated will feel they are in the restrictions potentially for those who are not."

Psychologically people were looking for some benefit for having done what was asked of them, such as an easing of restrictions and clarity about the path out of lockdowns.

"Behaviour works on a risk benefit analysis... From that self interest point of view which we know is where people come from, often, is what are the benefits for adhering to the rules because the risk now of personal illness or impacts from personal illness has dropped from people so that risk has gone down.

"The real benefit is really going to be when is New Zealand going to start opening up again and when are we going to get our freedoms back.

"That's a really fine balance that the government's going to have to manage."

Maguire said anti-lockdown protests were more a case of political ideology, with research from the United States suggesting the view was aligned more with right wing attitudes on social norms and was from those were less open to taking actions for others.

- NZ Herald and RNZ 



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