Live: PM Jacinda Ardern speaks after Cabinet meeting

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is about to give an update following today’s Cabinet meeting.

Watch the briefing here:

The National Party has been calling for a travel bubble with Australia and launched a petition to immediately start travel last week.

The plan is to have a safe travel zone between New Zealand and Australia in place by the end of April.

Ardern refused after last week’s Cabinet meeting to give a firm date, but said the next step would be for a proposal to go to the full Cabinet, potentially this week.

However, she this morning again played down the significance of today’s Cabinet meeting, saying a firm date was not likely to be announced.

Ardern said in May last year that September 2020 could be a “realistic” time frame for New Zealand’s borders to open up to Australia.

However in October 2020, when the Australian government said it had finalised a deal for a limited travel bubble across the Tasman, Ardern said the country was still not ready for quarantine-free travel.

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The government also confirmed its officials were prepared for a bubble in February, but Australia backed out and changed its position.

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