'Insulting' - Jacinda Ardern defends NZ's border response to Covid-19 as more than just 'good luck'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is dismissing claims the lack of a significant Covid-19 outbreak, despite border breaches, is a result of "good luck" rather than "good management",

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The Prime Minister says she found it "insulting" to say New Zealand was lucky not to have a major outbreak due to issues at the border. Source: Breakfast

Ms Ardern fired back at the comments on TVNZ 1's Breakfast today, saying she found it "insulting" to say New Zealand was lucky not to have a major outbreak due to issues at the border.

"I totally reject that," she says.

"I think frankly it is insulting to say to the New Zealand public that we are in the position we are in, with a virus, because of good luck."

Last week saw significant changes at the border, after it was discovered people were being let out from managed isolation and quarantine facilities without being tested at the end of their 14-day period.

Testing was ramped up, with people now being told they'll be tested on day 3 and day 12 of their stay. People also won't be allowed out without a negative test at the end of their 14-day period.

While she acknowledges there are problems, Ms Ardern says people need to "keep some perspective" around the issues.

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"There is no rulebook that says when you have this global pandemic, this is precisely what you should do at your border," she says.

"The proof point that we have of that is that New Zealand is actually doing something that no other country in the world has been doing.

"We are now amongst the only ones in the world testing every single person who comes into those facilities ... No one else is doing that."

In the last 13 days, there have been 80,000 tests done across the country, according to the Ministry of Health.

It makes up around 20 per cent of the total number of tests done in New Zealand since the outbreak first began.

New Zealand currently has 20 active Covid-19 cases, all in managed isolation or quarantine.

Ms Ardern says it's important that all of the country's cases have been caught at the border.

"They are not in our community. We are in an extraordinary position because of the work that everyone has done and that remains the case."

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During the Breakfast interview, Ms Ardern also acknowledged the issues appearing with the proposed trans-Tasman bubble.

While it was initially hoped to be in place by September, a recent surge in cases in Australia appear to have put the plans on ice.

Ms Ardern says she can't guarantee when a travel bubble might be in place.

"Ultimately we're not going to do anything before it's safe," she says.

"Very much, I'd say it depends on Australia. It's not really much about us, it depends on Australia."

Rather than a country-wide bubble, it might work on a state-by-state basis if they keep their domestic borders in place, Ms Ardern says.