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'Things have changed' in timing of trans-Tasman bubble, says Ardern

The Prime Minister says that "things have changed" around the trans-Tasman bubble target in light of the Sydney outbreak and the way Australia responded to New Zealand's recent Northland Covid-19 case. 

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New Zealand's Government agreed in principle to establish a travel bubble with Australia by the end of March. Source: 1 NEWS

The Government agreed in principle in December to establish a travel bubble with Australia by the end of March. 

"It's fair to say things have changed at little bit since we set that goal and aspiration," Jacinda Ardern told media today.  

"I absolutely feel the weight of New Zealander's preference sits heavily on the side of whatever you do, do it carefully. Once we enter into that arrangement, it will be very hard to undo it."

Ardern said there had been significant changes in the environment since the announcement of the bubble timeline. 

"We've had the Sydney outbreak, we've also had the response from Australia, to what were contained incidents related back to the border in New Zealand."

Australian PM Scott Morrison temporarily reinstated quarantine rules for Kiwi travellers after a woman last month became New Zealand’s first community case after leaving managed isolation. 

"That has raised some questions, with any bubble arrangement you'd understand we'd want protocols in place so that there's some predictability," Ardern said. 

"We're having to go back and check with those recent incidents, all of the activities of the different states, or the reaction to us, is in keeping in what we're working to."