Chris Hipkins isn't backing down over pausing quarantine-free travel with Australia for eight-weeks from midnight as the Delta variant continues to spread.
For the next week managed return flights will bring home New Zealand citizens and residents.
The Covid-19 Response Minister told Heather du Plessis-Allan it's about giving Australia enough time to control their outbreaks.
"You look at the number of cases that they're dealing with on a daily basis in New South Wales, even an optimistic estimate would suggest it's gonna take some time for them to get it under control."
Quarantine-free travel from all of Australia is pausing from 11:59 pm on Friday for at least eight weeks.