Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's "incredibly angry" after learning of a Facebook post from Unite Against Covid-19 asking people in West and South Auckland to be tested for the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms.
In a press conference today, Ms Ardern said the post was a poor attempt at simplified communication.
"I think ultimately what’s happened here is that there has been an attempt to keep a message simple and it’s just been done badly."
The post on the Unite Against Covid-19 Facebook page, shared yesterday and labeled an "important message", urged people in West and South Auckland to get tested when possible.
Today the Prime Minister emphasised that blanket testing isn't necessary across the two Auckland regions.
"That is not the ask coming from health officials currently," she says.
"As I set out, our ask is if you have cold symptoms get a test, if you have flu symptoms get a test and, of course, if you have any connection to those involved in this cluster, we have been asking also for people to get a test."
When asked of the reaction and impact the post has already had on the community, Ms Ardern shared her own frustration with the situation.
"Well I can tell you for me it’s caused me to be incredibly angry," she says.
"We have to be very clear in our communication, we have to be very direct in our asks and you’ll see that in a very dynamic environment, by and large, we are able to be very, very consistent."
The controversial post came as Auckland is set to leave its Level 3 lockdown this evening, after a cluster of the virus formed two weeks ago following an outbreak from an unknown source.
The city will enter Level "2.5" tomorrow, which is a staggered entry into Level 2 with some restrictions on gathering sizes.