Coronavirus: Mark Richardson says New Zealand is 'becoming a nation of narks'

New Zealand is becoming a nation of "narks", according to Mark Richardson. 

As he and his co-hosts on The AM Show discussed David Clark's lockdown breach, Richardson said he wanted to put a question to the health minister but refrained when he appeared on the show on Tuesday, figuring he wouldn't take it seriously.

"Is it healthy that we are quickly becoming a nation of narks?"

"I don't think it is at all," host Duncan Garner replied.

Richardson highlighted the police's non-emergency 105 number had become inundated with calls. Police had earlier asked New Zealanders to use an online form to report incidents of people breaching the COVID-19 lockdown rules to ease the lock on the non-emergency number.

"I don't know if that is actually going to create a great culture," Richardson said. "Everyone is in the 'gotcha' mode."

But Garner raised the point that Richardson had too called 105 to dob in a hitchhiker flouting the rules.

"Who on this programme is the only person to have rung 105? It is 'nark' Richardson," Garner said.

Newsreader Amanda Gillies brought an end to the conversation by urging viewers to spare a thought for Clark's family. Clark has offered Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern his resignation after he admitted to a 20km drive to the beach during the lockdown.

Ardern did not accept the resignation but stripped him of another role.

"The country has really turned on David Clark and he's made that decision - he's owned it - so we'll just leave his family alone," Gillies said.

"Everyone's going through a lot at the moment and there's no need to be nasty. We'll accept the apology - let's just move on."