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Trans-Tasman tourism bubble could be ready for ski season

“We can open this border on the basis that there’s non-transmission in both the populations,” Mr Peters said. “The moment you put in a 14 day quarantine requirement, forget it.”

“We’re very close to being able to say we got on top of it in terms of community transmission.

“We’re not going to eliminate it. We’re not going to eradicate it. But we’re beating the crap out of it and so is Australia.”

Both New Zealand and Australia have closed their borders to foreign travellers as part of far-reaching responses to COVID-19.

The measures have shut down the tourism industry to international visitors on both sides of the Tasman.

Tourism workers in New Zealand have been supported by the 12-week wage subsidies issued by Jacinda Ardern’s government, which are roughly six weeks away from running out.

The government has yet to unveil any further support.

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is eager to reboot the economy

New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is eager to reboot the economyCredit:Getty Images

Ms Peters’ eagerness to reboot the economy is at odds with Ardern’s health-first approach.

Speaking earlier on Thursday, just down the hall in Parliament House, the Prime Minister described the re-opening of borders as a “longer term goal”.

That would suggest the ski season, which begins in June and runs through to October, was not on the table.

“We are both as countries working really hard to keep control of COVID-19 and our goal is to make life feel as normal as possible,” Ms Ardern said. “Eventually I would hope that would mean our ability to have movement between our countries but that is a longer term goal.”

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On Thursday, health officials announced just three fresh cases in New Zealand – the 12th straight day they’ve announced a single-digit tally.

The country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 19.

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