The New Zealand High Commission in India broke the correct process by issuing an urgent call on social media for oxygen for a "very sick" local staff member living at its commune.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this morning the cause of the unusual tweet asking for oxygen in the Covid-struck country was because they had a "very unwell local staff member" in the compound.
Both New Zealanders and local employees live in the New Zealand High Commission compound, Ardern told Newshub.
She said the compound had been working in a bubble arrangement for almost a year and had been working very hard to keep themselves and their staff safe.
Ardern wished the sick employee well.
She said the NZ High Commission apologised for the tweet because it didn't follow the right process available to High Commissions.
"The reason they apologised is because they acknowledged that they had ways and means through the government that they could have accessed support and that should have been the mechanism they used and that they had good support for the India government on the ground," Ardern said.
The High Commission yesterday tweeted to the Indian Youth Congress and its national president Srinivas BV: "Could you please help with oxygen cylinder urgently at the New Zealand High Commission? Thank you."
Srinivas BV responded promptly, saying they would come to assist.
Shortly after he tweeted photos of a team with oxygen tanks, saying: "We have reached New Zealand High Commission with oxygen cylinders".
The tweets have garnered a huge amount of attention, with thousands of retweets and comments in less than an hour.
The High Commission's tweet was then deleted, and replaced with: "We are trying all sources to arrange for oxygen cylinders urgently and our appeal has unfortunately been misinterpreted, for which we are sorry."