National MP Matt King says he's "no sheep" and can assess the risk of contracting of COVID-19 by himself after drawing criticism for flouting physical distancing rules at a Paihia restaurant.
The Northland MP posted a photo of him and his elderly parents - who were celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary - posing with Greens Restaurant staff on the weekend.
The photo caused major backlash from some Facebook users, who described his decision to ignore distancing rules to stand close to staff as "a disgrace", "embarrassing" and "idiotic".
Earlier this month, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said it was important to be "really rigorous around physical distancing" if you don't know the person.
But King says the Government's rules are "random and illogical", and told irate commenters the staff member he's standing next to was the one who waited on their table.
King says it would've been impossible for the server to distance himself while serving their food, describing the rules as "a charade".
"The rulings coming out of this Government are random and illogical. Only 10 at a funeral is allowed and then next day 100 is okay. Same with religious gatherings," he wrote.
"I'm no sheep, each individual can assess the risk and make their decision accordingly (sic)."
King's comment refers to the Government's decision to cap funerals and religious gatherings at 10 people during alert level 2. Last week, the Health Minister changed the initial rule after a backlash, allowing 50 people at funerals.
In another comment, King told his Facebook followers he was "over the BS coming out of this Government", calling the 10-person cap on funerals in New Zealand "the straw that broke the donkeys back (sic)".
Newshub has reached out to King for comment.
The Government has received heavy blowback from the National Party, religious organisations and bars for its strict rules on mass gathering sizes.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Prime Minister told reporters the number of people allowed at mass gatherings during alert level 2 may be relaxed.