Jacinda Ardern was forced to apologise in parliament this afternoon after referring to Judith Collins as "the other leader of the opposition".
The prime minister was responding to a question from Act Party leader David Seymour when she made the remark. It was picked up by speaker Trevor Mallard, who said it was clearly a deliberate act on the prime minister's part to misstate a central constitutional tenant, in this case, that New Zealand only has one leader of the opposition.
Ardern was told to withdraw the comment and apologise.
Both Seymour and Collins had been questioning Ardern on why managed isolation is still used for overseas arrivals into the country – most who have already been vaccinated and tested negative – while positive Covid cases are allowed to isolate at home around the country.
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There are currently more than 4600 Covid-positive cases isolating at home, while the number of confirmed cases being detected in MIQ has slowed to a dribble.
"We do intend to change the way that we are operating at the border," said Ardern.
"Even with pre-departure testing, vaccination checks, and a period of self-isolation, modelling suggests we will have a not insignificant number of cases seeded even with those protections. We still need to be cautious."
A date for any changes to the MIQ system, and the operation of the international border, has not been announced.
- The Spinoff