Jacinda Ardern says the Government doesn't have the luxury of making the wrong move, after Simon Bridges criticised its decision to remain at Alert Level 3.
It comes as Mr Bridges continued to press the Government to go to Alert Level 2 immediately in Parliament's Question Time today.
When asked why the Government doesn't look at opening more businesses safely on a day-to-day basis, Ms Ardern responded they do make decisions on a daily basis after looking at modelling and data.
"In light of that answer is she telling the House that she may well bring forward the decision about whether to move from Level 2 on Monday and it could in fact be this week?" Mr Bridges asked.
The Prime Minister then outlined how numbers coming in today may not reflect the true state of where the country is at in the fight against Covid-19.
"We have to look at the cycle of transmission, making a decision based on a number today is a reflection of Level 4, not about where we are right now.
"That member may have the luxury of sitting on that side of the House not bearing the consequences of a wrong move but we do not, we have to factor in the livelihoods of every New Zealander," Ms Ardern responded.
Ms Ardern also reminded Mr Bridges of his support for the lockdown five weeks ago.
"As I’ve reiterated in this house multiple times, at the time New Zealand took the decision it did to go into lockdown, which if I recall, that member supported a mere five weeks ago, we had an infection rate modelled by the likes of Rodney Jones of five, that was higher than Australia," she said.
Mr Bridges then gave an example of a Kiwi business owner who also trades in Australia, saying he received an email outlining how the Australian side of the business was booming, while restrictions in New Zealand were hitting them hard on this side of the Tasman.
Ms Ardern countered saying the business owner should have received the Government wage subsidy to help them through the tough times.
Mr Bridges has referenced Australia's looser restrictions multiple times to try and make the case for a drop in alert levels in New Zealand.