Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be taking a few days off over the weekend and early next week to recover from a dental operation and will miss next week's Cabinet meeting.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Ardern said she won't be in the Beehive next Monday as she would be recovering from having a wisdom tooth removed.

"I apologies; that's more detail than any of you would have liked – and more than I'd like to share, but I didn't want to start any speculation," she told reporters unprompted at the start of her weekly post-Cabinet press conference today.

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She said she has had issues with her wisdom teeth for three years.

The operation is on Friday and Ardern will be taking four days leave after the surgery.
She would not say how much the operation was going to cost, but added that she had not yet had a final quote – "I know that it will be reasonable".

The surgery will affect a part of the bone in her jaw, she said, adding that she had been advised that she should be off work for "several days".

Ardern also confirmed that there was not, in fact, a special dental clinic for Prime Ministers in New Zealand.

"Despite the fact that I've had plenty of commentary – more than others probably about my dentistry over the years – I just go to the dentist like anyone else."

Asked if it was too expensive for people to have their wisdom teeth removed, Ardern said accessing dental work in general in New Zealand is an issue.

"Every time I go to the dentist, I reflect on that.

"But as we [the Government] have said, we actually have a number of areas where we know we need to make the health system – and that includes [making] public health – more accessible."


But she said it's all a matter of how the Government is able to prioritise making those parts of the health care system more accessible.