Opening NZ to Aussies for ski season, school holidays would 'really matter' — Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says having Australians in the country for the ski season and school holidays would "really matter" to struggling industries.

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The Deputy Prime Minister says having Australians in the country for the ski season and school holidays would support struggling industries. Source: Breakfast

His comments come as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to make an announcement on quarantine-free travel to and from Australia today.

1 NEWS understands borders could open as soon as the end of the week.

The bubble is expected to run on a state-by-state basis, restricting travellers from particular areas in the event of an outbreak.

Ardern has previously warned there would be an element of "flyer-beware" should the borders shut while Kiwis are visiting Australia.

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There has been movement behind the scenes, 1 NEWS political reporter Maiki Sherman has learned. Source: 1 NEWS

Robertson told Breakfast this morning people with family on either side of the ditch would be keen to run that risk, though.

"One of the things to acknowledge today is that both Australia and New Zealand, relative to the rest of the world, have done pretty well and so we've got the reward for all the sacrifices," he said.

"A lot of Australians like to come to New Zealand and we want them to come here, and there'll be particular parts of New Zealand where this will really matter — places like Queenstown for the ski season, during the school holidays and so on."

Typically, Australians bring in $2.7 billion a year for New Zealand. If borders open soon, it is estimated $1 billion or more could be brought in for the remainder of this year.

However, Robertson added: "We also have to remember that New Zealanders like to holiday in Australia and so while there'll be definite economic benefit here in New Zealand, we also have to accept that quite a few people who might have been touring around New Zealand will now go off to Australia.

"On balance, it will be a positive and it's up to us to market ourselves in Australia and make sure that Australians come over here."

Cabinet will meet today then give a date for a trans-Tasman bubble around 4pm, but Robertson wouldn't give any indication of whether it will be days or weeks when pressed by Breakfast's Jenny-May Clarkson this morning.

"We've been stepping through this very carefully because it's important we get all the systems in place," he said.

"We want to be able to tell all New Zealanders and Australians exactly what's expected of them before they leave, what happens in the unlikely and awful event that there is an outbreak on either side of the Tasman, so we want to step New Zealanders through that.

"[We've] got to get our airports ready, got to have our airlines ready, so there's quite a lot of work to do here but we'll be able to make all those announcements later today."

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The Prime Minister says the cases demonstrate why it’s important careful planning is done correctly. Source: 1 NEWS

Meanwhile, Robertson said the Government is still aiming to also open up with the Cook Islands in May.

Last week, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown told Breakfast the nation would be ready to receive New Zealanders on the first day of that month.

However, while Robertson said he understood the rush for the country reliant on tourism and would "love that to be the case", he wouldn't commit to the date.

"Equally, we've got obligations to both people who live in the Cook Islands and those people in New Zealand who travel there to make sure all those systems are in place. Particularly, that is at the health end and making sure if we end it that we've got managed isolation facilities available, good testing regime up there available as well."