Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is reassuring health workers across the country that they will always have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks.

The supply of masks is not a problem, Ardern said, but there are some issues with the distribution across the country.

Speaking to the Nation, she said the Government has moved to "tighten that up".

Covid 19 coronavirus: Police cracking down on 'Covid parties' during lockdown
Covid 19 coronavirus: 85 new cases in NZ, rules for leaving the house clarified
Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown: Neighbours dobbing in Kiwi rule breakers
Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland father removed from baby daughter's side in Auckland Hospital


This comes as some front line healthcare workers have threatened to stop working, fearing a lack of equipment will expose them to Covid-19.

Ardern addressed these concerns this morning, saying there is no reason that this should be the case.

"We have the stock," she said of face masks.

"We have good supply, so we do want to tighten up that distribution network."

In fact, just yesterday an additional four million masks were distributed to District Health Boards (DHBs) across the country.

Ardern said the Government has 18 million masks in its pandemic stockpile and a factory in Whanganui can produce up to 80,000 masks a day.

Last night, Ardern shared a video on Instagram of this factory producing masks.

"I'll admit, I have watched this video more than once," she said in the caption.


Ardern told the Nation: "I am again reiterating to those who are working on this operational side, we have got to make sure that that distribution line continues.

"We've got the numbers – we just need to get it out to the front line."

Meanwhile, Ardern is urging New Zealanders against online shopping.

"For every purchase, you make online, there is an entire workforce that has to service that.
"That's people who have to come into a warehouse, process your order and deliver your order."

It's not just about the people who are staying at home, she said.

"It's about the people who are then brought into work – we need to reduce down everyone's contact with each other."

Advertisement The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website