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John Campbell questions Jacinda Ardern's confidence in her Ministers, following document dump gag order

Jacinda Ardern says she has confidence in her Government Ministers after a gag order email was sent out to them following a Friday afternoon Covid-19 document dump.

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On May 8 hundreds of documents were released, before an email from the Prime Minister’s office told Ministers not to talk to media on it. Source: Breakfast

Hundreds of official documents, including minutes and advice about Covid-19, were published on Friday afternoon, followed by an email from the Prime Minister's office - that was leaked to media - instructing Ministers not to do media interviews on the material released.

On TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, host John Campbell said while some people took the email as arrogance, he interpreted it instead as a lack of confidence from Ms Ardern in some of her Ministers.

"I want to talk about [Tourism Minister] Kelvin Davis, is he the man to lead the recovery in a sector which employs 400,000 people?" Campbell asked.

"Yes," Ms Ardern responded.

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She went on to say she had confidence in her Ministers and said, while she knew the documents were to be released, she didn't know the email was going out.

"That email, I'd like to think you'd know me well enough to know that that would not be ever language I would use. Arrogance is just, I hope, something people would see as not in my nature.

Ms Ardern then went on to address "anxiety" in the tourism industry, indicating more funding for the sector will come in Thursday's Budget.

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The Prime Minister says she doesn't craft all the emails sent out by her team. Source: 1 NEWS

"Just last week the Minister of Finance and I were directly speaking about Kaikōura as an example and whale watching as an example and what about the service station that services that town, not in tourism but equally affected," she said.

Gag order on Ministers after Covid-19 document dump was 'arrogant' move by Government, commentator says

"So we've had to think, not just about a sector of response, but one that thinks about the communities that serve and are supported by tourism. So there will be more business support coming and that will be this week," she said ahead of the Budget being announced on Thursday.

"Equally we will also be looking to provide specific support designed for tourism, but what I also want to acknowledge is that we will have some redeployment of workforce that will need to go into other work while we try and build back up tourism momentum."

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Josie Pagani and Ben Thomas give their thoughts on the Government’s handling of the release of documents about Covid-19. Source: Breakfast