National leader Judith Collins says the Government’s Cook Island travel bubble proposal is sending "mixed messages" over Covid-19.
Appearing on the campaign trail in Auckland today, Ms Collins said a recent warning by Dr Ashley Bloomfield about the lingering risk of community transmission is at odds with setting up a travel bubble for Kiwis.
"On the one hand you've got Ashley Bloomfield as the Director-General of Health starting to talk about moving back to Covid Level 2 restrictions and also face masks, and on the other hand you've now got the Government saying that maybe by December it'll be safe to have a travel bubble with the Cook Islands.
"What's going to be different between now and December? I would like them to front up the details on it."
Ms Collins went on to say the "Government is a mess" and it's clear their is "squabbling" going on between the coalition partners.
Her comments come as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today said a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Islands should be in place “before the end of the year”.
Ms Ardern said Cabinet today considered a draft of the agreement which is “near conclusion”.
She says officials on both sides will be travelling between the Cook Islands and New Zealand to do work on the ground in the next 10 days.
“Another factor is the maritime border. We need to make sure from both sides the rigour placed on the airport side is placed on the maritime side as well,” Ms Ardern said.
She explained that all people currently in New Zealand would be eligible to travel to the Cook Islands under the agreement, and if you don’t have a New Zealand passport you will need to meet visa requirements for each nation.
Ms Ardern expects to have another update on the travel bubble available for Kiwis in two weeks' time.
The Prime Minister said other Pacific nations, including Fiji, will not be considered until the Cook Islands travel bubble has been established.