National leader Judith Collins has pressed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on whether higher vaccination rates would have shortened the lockdown, as Parliament returns.
Ardern said New Zealand still needed very high vaccination rates.
"Countries that have been running vaccination campaigns for many many months are now seeing hospitalisation rates of 100,000," Ardern said
Collins pressed Ardern on remarks made by Covid-19 minister Chris Hipkins on Newstalk ZB earlier this year suggesting the Government was keen to slow the delivery of vaccines into the country.
This was because the Government was worried that getting the vaccines too early would mean the vaccines would expire.
Ardern said the Government has enough vaccine, but did not address the issue of why those vaccines are not currently in the country.
Parliament began sitting at 2pm today, following an unintended three-week break
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins began the session and said the Government was trying to disclose as much detail regarding the latest outbreak.
"It does mean there is a bigger lag between when information is first identified and when it is disclosed," he told those gathered.
Facing questions from National's Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop, Hipkins said the Government can include the reproduction rate or 'r' rate in the daily updates.
"I'm sure the 'r' rate could be included in the daily update if that is what the member wanted."
Hipkins dismissed issues around surge capacity of contact tracers, saying that the amount of surge capacity needed depended on the scale of the surge.
Fixty to sixty people are awaiting transfer to a quarantine facility following a positive Covid-19 test, he said.
David Seymour has tried to reestablish the Epidemic Response Committee in Parliament, but it was rejected.
Hipkins then countered by trying to establish the virtual Parliament he wanted. This was also rejected.
Hipkins said there are about half a million vaccines in vaccination centres. These numbers are not included in the list of vaccine stocks that are disclosed each day.
Hipkins said there are discussions with other countries about vaccine supplies. He said the Government had been in discussions with other countries since before the vaccines were approved.
The Herald had earlier reported the Government was discussing bringing in additional doses of the vaccine from other countries.
"The New Zealand Government commits to a Pfizer based vaccination campaign at this point," Hipkins said.
Defence Minister Peeni Henare said he did not have a breakdown of the number of Afghan interpreters and people who worked with the defence forces who did not escape Afghanistan.
Henare said the defence force was still in touch with people who were still stuck in Afghanistan.
Henare would not say whether any New Zealanders were left behind in Afghanistan. He said the numbers were still being tallied.
He also would not say whether any of New Zealand's refugee quota would be allocated to people fleeing the Taliban regime
Health Minister Andrew Little told Parliament there were approximately 1300 planned care cancellations in the first week of alert level 4 in the Northland region, said health minister Andrew Little.
Little said the vast majority of cancer surgeries had been progressing as normal.
The Government is facing a grilling today on two unfolding crises: the recent outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in New Zealand and the Defence Force's involvement in the evacuation of Afghanistan.
These debates take the form of ministerial statements, where ministers wimake a speech outlining what the Government has done and why, and then MPs from all other parties get the opportunity to ask questions on that topic.
Usually, in question time, the debate is limited by the number of questions the Opposition has to ask of ministers - each party has a limited number of primary and supplementary questions it can use to grill the Government.
In a debate on a ministerial statement the only restriction is time, meaning the debate is often more free-flowing.
Today's debates are Labour versus National and Act. The Green and Maori parties have decided to sit Parliament out, arguing that it should not be meeting in person because of the current health crisis.
The two debates will be followed by a new-look question time. Usually there are 12 questions in question time, divided up between the parties depending on how many MPs each party has that are not ministers.
That means that Labour still gets a large allocation of questions - meaning much of question time is spend not necessarily holding the Government to account, but with Labour MPs giving free hits to Labour ministers to advertise the work they are doing.
This time, questions will only come from the Opposition. There are six, rather than 12 questions.
The House will be sitting for reduced hours this week. Usually it would sit until 1pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, passing legislation well into the night.
Instead, the House will rise early, following questions on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, it will only debate the latest Covid-19 orders, which are necessary for the current outbreak.