Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested New Zealand would deal with outbreaks in Australia the same it dealt with outbreaks here when the long-awaited transtasman bubble is up and running.
Ardern - who plans to next week announce a start date for a bubble - has also signalled how New Zealand might shut off travel to individual Australian states when needed.
With New Zealand and Australia working through arrangements for quarantine-free travel, Queensland has reported a spate of new community cases that's forced the greater Brisbane area into a three-day lockdown.
Asked about that flare-up today, Ardern spoke of the importance of aligning how New Zealand would respond to a similar outbreak here.
She couldn't say how the Queensland outbreak would affect a bubble were one in place.
"However, what we are going to try to do is mirror the response we would take if it was us, in the way that we deal with Australia."
Brisbane's ordeal showed why it was important "that we get the settings right and the planning right".
"We will have situations where New Zealand will have to respond to cases in Australia, in the same way Australia has had to deal with cases in New Zealand," she said.
"What's important is that we get all of the infrastructure we need to make sure we can respond quickly to keep New Zealanders safe."
While she didn't share any specifics about criteria for closing borders, Ardern pointed to the importance of giving travellers predictability.
That included letting them know how prepared they'd need to be, in the event they had to stay where they were if there was a border closure.
She also gave some indications about how New Zealand might interact with separate states.
"Yes, there is absolutely a chance that if a state has an outbreak, if we're confident that border controls are in place, we could turn off that state, whilst continuing travel elsewhere."
Covid-19 modeller Professor Michael Plank said it would be interesting to see precisely what the bubble rules looked like, and how travellers would be affected by outbreaks.
"Are they asked to remain where they are? Or are they asked to come home, but go through quarantine, or go into home isolation? There are various options but I think that's the sort of detail that needs to be ironed out."
Otago University epidemiologist Professor Nick Wilson expected the current outbreak wouldn't have any major implications for the prospects of a bubble.
"With the exception of the big Victoria outbreak, Australia has been pretty good at outbreak control, with their combined use of contact tracing and lockdowns," he said.
"[This outbreak] might have implications if it looked like it was getting out of control, but I think with the way the travel bubble is designed, when things like this happen, travel can continue to the rest of the state.
"But I'm hoping that when there is a travel bubble, they do have some requirements for people incoming from Australia, such as mandatory QR code scanning, and having [Bluetooth tracking] on for the first two weeks at least.
"So, if those measures are in place, it would reduce concern about outbreaks like this. It'd mean we could keep a 'green zone' operating, but with the hot-spot demarcated."
Wilson and fellow Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker have argued New Zealand needed to do more to "harmonise" with Australia its Covid-19 management .
"We need to be learning from each other, and it just doesn't seem like there's much evidence of sharing protocols."