The rules under alert level 2 of the COVID-19 response need to be followed and adhered to by New Zealand's team of 5 million, Jacinda Ardern has reiterated - and as one of the team, the Prime Minister is not above social distancing protocol.
Ardern and her fiancé, Clarke Gayford, were turned away from Olive Cafe on Wellington's Cuba St on Saturday morning as the coffeeshop was already full, the cafe's manager confirmed to Stuff.
Under level 2 protocol, cafes and restaurants are permitted to operate if customers remain seated, are served by the same staff member and social distancing is observed. If the shop cannot physically seat any more customers, no others should be allowed to enter.
A patron, who had just been seated with their group, told Stuff that Ardern and Gayford were accompanied by a bodyguard and some friends as they waited outside the cafe. The couple were reportedly without their one-year-old daughter, Neve.
"One of the workers had to awkwardly say it was full and there were no tables and they left, and we were wondering if we should give them our table," they said.
"Mercifully it seems a group was then clearing out and one of the staff chased them down and they were seated."
A spokesperson from the Prime Minister's Office told the outlet it was "something that any New Zealander may experience as cafes follow level 2 restrictions".
Gayford, a TV presenter, admitted on social media it was his fault.
"I have to take responsibility for this," he tweeted. "I didn't get organized and book anywhere. Was very nice of them to chase us down st when a spot freed up. A+ service."
Earlier in May, the Prime Minister also served a relatable dose of reality to her 1 million Instagram followers, uploading a snap of her pink jacket lapel stained with nappy cream.
"Why is it only when you are the furtherest you could possibly be from a change of clothes before you notice that you have nappy cream on you [sic]?" Ardern captioned the May 6 post.
"I'll spare everyone the details."