Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has taken aim at Scott Morrison for allowing the Covid-19 pandemic to "get out of control" in Australia, as he vents his frustration over the delay on the transtasman bubble.
Speaking on Channel Nine's Today Show this morning, Peters compared New Zealand's response to Covid-19 to Australia, labelling the latest spikes in Victoria as "frustrating".
"I am looking at the premiers of the states in Australia, at Scott Morrison, and I feel a great deal of regret that looseness allowed this thing to get out of control in my view, in Australia," Peters said.
"All in all it's a disaster and of course the fear will be that it creeps outside of Victoria into Queensland, South Australia and beyond.
"I do hope you get on top of things in Melbourne. It's a great state but, boy ... what can I say. If we can help, give us a shout," he told the hosts.
Victoria, which is currently in lockdown, became the first state in Australia to record more than 300 cases in a single day since the pandemic began - with the rise in cases putting the transtasman bubble on the backburner.
But Peters believes an exclusive bubble between Tasmania and Auckland was still a possibility in the near future.
He said he told the Premier of Tasmania, Peter Gutwein, that his state is "set to go" and urged him to push for clearance.
"Tasmania has got it better than New Zealand," he said.
"Tasmania would have been a classic. It would have been a lesson to strive for, and Queensland to join as well.
"We used to fly between our two countries and state in the 1990s. We can do it again."
However, with the current state of cases in Australia, the mainland appears off-limits to any transtasman bubble plans.
When host Karl Stefanovic questioned if the travel bubble between the two countries should just include Tasmania, Peters agreed.
"That would be right, the two little Islands sticking together."
New Zealand hasn't had a case of community transmission since April 28, with new cases coming from offshore people who are in managed isolation.