New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Government needs to get to the bottom of the recent cases of community transmission, which plunged Auckland back into lockdown.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Peters – who is also the Deputy Prime Minister – said that “everything is on the line”.

And he’s also concerned that some of New Zealand’s managed isolation facilities are not up to scratch.

He said that their effectiveness needed to be guaranteed – “that means we need military-style precision.”

The rest of the country will be in level 2 over the same period.

Peters said he wants to know that the assurances the Government is being given by those running the facilities “day after day” were, in fact, a reality.

“We have to know with precision what we’re being told in every area is, in fact, 100 per cent plus operational.”

Asked about his reaction upon hearing community transmission was back yesterday, he said he was “brassed off”.

His comments came very soon after Auckland went into level 3 lockdown – where it would stay until at least midnight Friday.

Brassed off at the circumstances, he said, adding that the Government needs to know “how it happened” – in regards to the new cases of community transmission.

He also called for testing facilities across the country to be improved as well.

Peters added that the Ministry of Health needed to make sure that people aren’t waiting for hours to get a test and the process was as quick as possible.

Meanwhile, he appeared to be calling for everyone in the country to be wearing masks.

He told reporters he had been calling for mandating mask usage “since day one”.

“That’s why I have got a whole lot in my bag.”

Peters was speaking to reporters at Parliament in front of his NZ First campaign bus.

He said last night that his party would be suspending its campaign during the new lockdown period.

National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo / Mark Mitchell
National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo / Mark Mitchell

“It is very disappointing but the other side of the equation is that everyone is in the same boat,” he said of the suspension, which was “essential”.

He would not, however, be drawn as to whether the election should be delayed.

This comes after National leader Judith Collins called for the election to be pushed back, given the new outbreak.

And, speaking to the Herald last night, she placed the blame for the new cases of community transmission in the Government’s lap.

“I am, like I’m sure the rest of the country is, extremely disappointed that this [Covid-19] has been allowed in through our borders.”

Peters said Collins’ criticism was “haphazard and careless”.

“It’s irresponsible and not befitting of someone with legal training and some experience of the law.”