The Prime Minister is standing firm on the wait for the move to alert level 1 and says she hopes the country can make the shift within four weeks.

On Monday, Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet had decided to stay at alert level 2 for a month, and will look at whether it was safe to move to alert level 1 on June 22.

But this morning Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said level 1 should be in place right now. He also shared what had been discussed with Ardern at Cabinet - which Act leader David Seymour alleged breached the rules.

On Peters, Ardern said his comments were a reflection of what she had said yesterday.


"From time to time, we will agree we will share differing views in public."

She said parties sometimes take a different perspective and there needed to be a balanced approach to avoid yo-yoing back to lockdown.

Asked if New Zealand was ready for level 1 now, she said she took the advice from the director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Within four weeks, she hoped to be at level 1.

She said a coalition government will have different views but there was consensus in Cabinet to move to stay at alert level 2 for at least two two-week incubation cycles.

Level 1 would still mean hand hygiene and border restrictions, but hospitality rules would be relaxed.

There are no new Covid-19 cases - the fifth day in a row without a new one. There are just 21 active cases.

A proposal to test at the border in early June was about looking at areas where there remained the greatest risk, she said.

Level 1 would also see political parties being able to campaign as they normally would, Ardern said.


Ardern said she was happy to talk to the Immigration Minister about how migrant workers could more easily apply for work visas; 9000 applications have been rejected, and Ardern said that was because the criteria were very narrow at the moment.

She said Labour this election would have a positive campaign and would not be about "dirt-digging".

"We need to focus on the issues."

Ardern said diversity was important on the front bench. National leader Todd Muller has been criticised for the lack of Māori faces on National's front bench.

Migrants stranded overseas with work visas to be in New Zealand was something the Government was working on, Ardern said.

Govt scheme lends $1 billion to small NZ business

Ardern said the Government's small business loan scheme had now given more than $1b in interest-free loans to over 50,000 small businesses in its first fortnight in operation.


The transtasman bubble

Ardern said the transtasman safe border group will provide a blueprint in early June.

She spoke with Auckland Airport today and every aspect was being considered, including pre-flight eligibility and safety on flights.

There is "enthusiasm" for the proposal to proceed as soon as it was safe to do so.

She said the transtasman bubble wasn't ready yet, but the border work needed to be in place when the time was right to proceed.

New Zealand and Australia were in different stages of easing restrictions, and Ardern said it won't be "too long" before the time was right.

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Peters on move to alert level 1

"We have been in compulsory lockdown for far too long," Peters told Newstalk ZB this morning.

Peters said it had been made clear at Cabinet that his party, New Zealand First, believed that the process of moving down to level 1 was taking too long.

"My party made it very clear we thought that. And the Prime Minister has actually admitted that at the Cabinet meeting – she said it. There was serious concerns from New Zealand First that this was taking too long and we should have got out of this into a better space as fast as possible."

Police Minister Stuart Nash also admitted there was disagreement in Cabinet.

"We have agreed to disagree respectfully, because the one thing we don't want to do is move backwards," he told Newstalk ZB.

It comes as there were no new cases of Covid-19 for the fifth straight day.


Peters poured cold water on the suggestion of a new public holiday, which has been discussed by Ardern.

"A day off when we have had weeks off is not the right thing to be promoting as we speak."

Act leader David Seymour questioned whether Peters had broken the rules of the Cabinet Manual, which is a set of rules for ministers, enforced by the Prime Minister.

"Discussion at Cabinet and Cabinet committee meetings is informal and confidential," the Manual says.

"Ministers and officials should not … disclose or record the nature or content of the discussions or the views of individual ministers or officials expressed at the meeting itself."

Seymour said that by saying what Ardern said in Cabinet on live radio this morning, Peters was in breach of this rule.


It is up to the Prime Minister as to whether or not a minister is disciplined for breaking the Cabinet Manual rules.