Winston Peters doesn't have an issue with National leader Simon Bridges driving between Tauranga and Wellington during the nationwide lockdown period.
Bridges is chairing Parliament's Epidemic Response Committee, which meets in Wellington between Tuesday and Thursday each week to scrutinise the Government and officials' response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While most MPs appearing on the select committee are videoconferencing in from their homes, Bridges is commuting to Parliament from his Tauranga electorate each week and streaming into the committee from there.
That's raised concerns about whether the National Party leader is respecting the intent of the lockdown restrictions, which requires people to stay indoors and limit travel. While Bridges says his role is essential, some have questioned why he can't stream into the committee from home.
Bridges said on Monday that other senior officials were doing as he was, with a bubble at Parliament and at home. He said he wasn't breaking that bubble during his drive.
"I don't take these things lightly, but I am the Leader of the Opposition, I've got constitutional duties, I'm running a committee in extreme circumstances where there is no Parliament," he said.
"I have to do that in the best way possible and it seems to me that does mean doing it in Parliament where I have the resources, where I can do it in a professional way, and I'm available to media."
Asked about Bridges' travel across the North Island, Peters, the deputy Prime Minister and leader of New Zealand First, said he didn't have a problem with it.
"Well, fair enough. Some things are essential. If that is what he wants to do, then that is fine by me," he told MagicTalk's Peter Williams.
"If that is what he wants to do and feels it is essential to do his job then it is fine by me."
Bridges told NZME on Monday that he would be more "effective" and "professional" from Parliament and also said his internet didn't work half the time at his Tauranga home.
Peters had sympathy for that.
"If you know what it's like to have internet go down twice on you in one meeting, it pays to be someplace where it doesn't possibly have a chance of going down," the New Zealand First leader told MagicTalk.
The Prime Minister was also asked on Monday if Bridges' travel was appropriate and whether he had broke the lockdown rules.
"I have not made - and it’s not for me to make - a determination as to how the Leader of the Opposition determines himself when we’re dealing with essential services, but what was important to me is that we made sure people could participate from their homes," Jacinda Ardern told reporters.
"I didn’t want to create a situation where people were forced to be away, for instance, from their families for a prolonged period of time. So that flexibility is there. Then it is ultimately up to those MPs to make their own decisions."