Jacinda Ardern calls out 'idiots' breaking coronavirus lockdown rules

Source: 1News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern didn't mince her words when discussing those breaking lockdown rules at this afternoon's press conference, addressing them as "idiots".

Ms Ardern was speaking to media about New Zealand's response so far and said most Kiwis could be proud with the way they have handled living in Level Four of the nationwide Covid-19 response, but there were a handful who got a spraying.

"While compliance has been generally strong, there are still some who I would charitably describe as idiots," Ms Ardern said.

The Prime Minister gave a specific example of one idiot so far - the 38-year-old Christchurch man who was arrested last night after he filmed himself deliberately coughing and sneezing on people at a Christchurch supermarket during the lockdown.

"I include him in that description," she said.

After wrapping up her speech, Ms Ardern was asked by media if she would charitably describe David Clark as an idiot after the Health Minister admitted he had flouted the lockdown rules himself earlier this week, driving 2km to a Dunedin park to go mountain biking.

The Prime Minister didn't hold her punches with her reply.

"I've said both publicly and privately to him that I'm obviously disappointed that we've even had to discuss his activities some days ago."

In a statement to Stuff after news of his actions surfaced earlier this week, Mr Clark said it was "my only chance to get out for some exercise in daylight hours".

"The track itself is not challenging, and is widely used by families and foot-traffic. I know that now is not the time for people to be engaging in higher-risk exercise activities," he said.

That last message was reiterated by the Prime Minister today.

"He has been asked to restrict any activity that could be considered to put him at risk in the same way we're asking every New Zealander to do that," she said.

"We don't want a situation where people are engaging in risky exercise which, for instance, causes there to be callouts or unnecessary call on our frontline services - none of us want that.

"He fully understands my expectations of him. He needs to be a role model."

Earlier in the press conference, it was confirmed New Zealand has now surpassed 1000 Covid-19 cases , with the addition of 89 today bringing the total to 1039.