National MP says COVID-19 women gave person 'kiss and a cuddle' on drive to Wellington despite officials' denials

A National MP claims the two women behind the fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand stopped for a kiss and a cuddle with a member of the public on their drive to Wellington - despite health officials saying they didn't meet anyone.

The two infected people were allowed out of the Novotel Auckland to attend a funeral in Wellington last week, but after arriving tested positive for the virus.

The Ministry of Health insists it is confident "there was no contact made with anyone on the journey between Auckland and Wellington".

However National's health spokesman Michael Woodhouse says he has been informed this is incorrect.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Woodhouse says a source told him the pair got lost on their drive and someone they knew had to drive out to redirect them.

They then gave their helper a "kiss and a cuddle", he claims. This person had not been checked to see if they had were now infected too.

Health Minister David Clark responded by saying he would be "deeply concerned" if this was true as he had been assured the women had no contact with anyone else on their way down.

On Wednesday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield accepted responsibility for allowing the women to leave their isolation facility before being cleared.

"As Director-General of Health, I have overall system responsibility for the health operations of our self-isolation facilities and exemptions," he said in a statement.

"In this instance, these individuals should have been tested prior to leaving the managed isolation facility.

"I am taking responsibility for ensuring this does not happen again."

However he also reiterated the women had no contact with anyone else on the entire trip down.

"We are confident there was no contact made with anyone on the journey between Auckland and Wellington," he said in a statement.

"The actions of these two individuals have been exemplary in terms of following health advice and the agreed plan on departure from the facility."