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Peters 'totally brassed off' at Covid cases, backs mandatory face mask use

Winston Peters says he has been arguing for mandatory face mask use "since day one".

The Deputy Prime Minister said his reaction to the news New Zealand had community-transmission cases of Covid-19 was that of most New Zealanders  - "totally brassed off". 

"Brassed off with the circumstances."

When asked if he would back mandatory mask use, Mr Peters said he had argued for it "since day one". 

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Mr Peters said his reaction to the Covid-19 cases was similar to that of most New Zealanders - "Totally brassed off". Source: 1 NEWS

"That's why I've got a whole lot in my bag."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today they were not mandating the use of masks "at this stage" but were actively encouraging their use, especially in Auckland. 

The Covid-19 website has been updated to encourage Aucklanders to wear masks when they are "out and about" and on public transport, and for the rest of the country under Alert Level 2 to "wear masks in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport or in shops". 

Mr Peters said the pause on political campaigning was essential.

"We can't get out there to meet people who are in lockdown.

"It is seriously frustrating... but the other side of the equation is that everyone is in the same boat.

"It's not about politics right now, it's about the health of New Zealanders.

"We've got a crisis here and we've got to have that in the forefront of our thinking. What matters now is the health of New Zealand."