“Jacinda Ardern is happy to have a socially distanced 1pm stand up with a dozen journalists in a room but not a democratic parliament with elected representatives asking her questions,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Ardern called me this afternoon to say she has decided that Parliament should not sit this week.

“At the very least the Epidemic Response Committee should have been brought back.

“The suggestion that Select Committees with a Labour majority, which have been notorious for obstructing questioning are a substitute for Parliament would not be taken seriously at any other time.

“Ardern’s objection that inter-regional travel is not justifiable is extraordinary. The planes are still flying to Wellington with people on them, Ardern just doesn’t think those people should include Opposition politicians.

“In the previous Level 4 lockdown, all parties agreed to closing Parliament in return for an Opposition-led Epidemic Response Committee, this time there will be even less accountability.

“This decision to close Parliament is totally different from all parties agreeing, it is dictated by Jacinda Ardern alone.”