Coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals toll COVID-19 pandemic took on her

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on her over the past two years, saying "sleep came to you out of sheer exhaustion".

In an interview with Sunday Ardern reveals the pressure she felt leading the country through the global pandemic 

"It's one thing to make a big decision a week, but with COVID, it was constant," she said.

"It got to the point where sleep came to you out of sheer exhaustion," Ardern told Sunday.

Ardern was also asked about vaccine mandates, communication as well as claims she's not listening to some New Zealanders.

"In the last two years, I've heard stories from families and individuals, talking about the impact of COVID on them - stories that have been really devastating... All of my personal experience, in many ways, feels very trivial compared to that," she told Sunday.

The interview comes after Ardern's trusted Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield resigned earlier this week following more than two years of leading New Zealand's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Dr Bloomfield said the past two years had been "particularly challenging and intense".

Ardern on Wednesday described Dr Bloomfield as a "true public servant" for his "tireless dedication, his focus on people and his calm and considered approach".