Simon Bridges has condemned the Government's decision to remain at alert level 4 for another week.
On Monday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand will move down to alert level 3 at 11:59pm on Monday April 27 - a week away.
Bridges says the decision is a result of the Government failing to "gear up".
"That means regrettably we have another week in very strict lockdown," he said on Monday afternoon.
But even when the country moves to level 3 Bridges says it isn't good enough.
"Level 3 is 3.9 it's almost level 4. It's more restrictive than what they're doing in Australia already."
He says New Zealand should follow the example of Australia by keeping businesses open with physical distancing in place.
"They have managed to keep businesses open and that to me seems to be an outcome we should be modelling."
At alert level 3 some people will be able to return to work. Food delivery will be allowed and online shopping can resume.
Workplaces which can enforce physical distancing and contract tracing will be permitted to reopen.
However, people are still urged to work from home when they can.
New Zealand's overall total of confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 now stands at 1440. Since the outbreak began 12 people have died.