Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her Government doesn't need the help of Sir John Key to work efficiently with the private sector in the battle against COVID-19.
The country currently has 1039 confirmed or probable cases of the virus, and though there are signs the spread may be stabilising, Ardern says it's still too early to tell whether the nationwide lockdown will have to be extended or not.
Despite calls for the Government to utilise the skills and experience of the former Prime Minister in dealing with the business world, Ardern says her team is more than capable of working closely with the private sector.
The Government was already collaborating with former Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe to supplement the public sector response to the outbreak, Ardern said.
The Prime Minister has also met with other big names in the business world, including Graeme Hart, Craig Heatley, Stephen Tindall, Sam Morgan and Nick Mowbray.
Speaking on The AM Show on Monday, Ardern defended the ability of her Government to work effectively with the private sector, saying Sir John's help wasn't necessary.
"You don't have one Government, or one stripe of politician, that is able to work collaboratively with one group of people - that wouldn't be good for New Zealand," she said.
"We have those relationships and we will use them and I don't think we require a call on necessarily another political party's past political leader in order to do that.
"I expect my politicians to work with people of every persuasion, both in public and the private sector, to get the best outcome for New Zealand."
On Sunday, Mike Bush, the former Police Commissioner who heads the Government's operational response to COVID-19, said the procurement of millions of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) that arrived over the weekend was a "wonderful example" of collaboration between the Government and the private sector.
Ardern told Newshub on Sunday that the Government had been "actively working with the private sector alongside our suppliers to increase our PPE stocks and top up [Ministry of Health] and DHB stockpiles."
Last month, Sir John praised his successor's handling of the crisis, saying how her address to the nation announcing a raise in the alert level was "faultless".
"Whatever you think of her decisions, she communicates really clearly and really well," Sir John told Magic Talk.
The former Prime Minister said it was tough being in charge in high-pressure situations.
"Those are big calls for a Prime Minister and I don't wanna say it's lonely, but the buck stops with the person at the top," he said.
Worldwide there have been more than a million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the death toll at almost 70,000.