Winston Peters says he'd like to see trans-Tasman bubble implemented 'yesterday' when pressed in Parliament

Source: 1News

Winston Peters says he’d like to see a trans-Tasman travel bubble implemented "yesterday" when asked about it in Parliament.

National’s deputy leader Nikki Kaye questioned Mr Peters, who was answering on behalf of the Prime Minister in question time today, over recent disagreements within the Government on Covid-19 restriction timelines.

"Has the Foreign Minister (Winston Peters) advocated to her (Jacinda Ardern) or to the Cabinet to proceed faster around the trans-Tasman bubble," Ms Kaye asked.

Mr Peters gave a direct response to the question.

"Take a wild guess," he said with a wry smile.

Ms Kaye then pressed him whether he had pushed for a date that the travel bubble should come into force.

"Yesterday," he replied before once again taking his seat.

Margy Osmond, co-chair of the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group, told the Sydney Morning Herald they expected it to commence "as early as September". 

When asked about this, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said "that could be realistic".

"I have been careful about putting down specific dates, but have been very focused on making sure we are ready, then we can move and we won’t be constrained by needing to do any administrative or logistical work at our borders," she told media today. 

"That’s why we’re focused on getting that ready, when we’re in a position of our health officials and epidemiologists saying they are comfortable that New Zealand and Australia don’t pose risk to one another, then we’ll be ready to go."

The exchange in Parliament today comes as Mr Peters and Ms Ardern have both aired disagreements between NZ First and the Government over the county's Alert Level status.

Mr Peters believes New Zealand should already be at Alert Level 1 and share a travel bubble with our neighbours across the ditch.

He says the fact the disagreement was made public shows how the Government is capable of having open "discussions and proper debate."

In Parliament today, Ms Kaye raised privacy concern issues around the sharing of details from Cabinet meetings.

Mr Peters brushed the concerns aside, stating the Prime Minister was happy to bring the matter up on Tuesday, before his radio interview on Newstalk ZB made headlines yesterday.