Paul Henry and Kelvin Davis clash over how fast New Zealand's tourism industry should be reopened

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Paul Henry have clashed over the speed at which New Zealand's domestic tourism industry is being reopened.

It follows an announcement on Thursday from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern where she laid out the guidelines and rules for alert level 2 once the country moves there. Inter-regional travel will be allowed, which she says will "mean a lot" to the tourism industry.

Davis said members of the industry told him the Government's decision has saved "thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses". He said he's now in the process of redesigning New Zealand's tourism industry.

"I've also tasked Tourism New Zealand with the job of going out and engaging and reimagining the future of tourism in New Zealand," he told Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry.

"They've actually provided me with advice that I'm now engaging with ministerial colleagues over, so things will happen quickly."

But Henry took issue with the ambiguity of Davis' plans.

"They want certainty. There are jobs - as you would know now - hanging in the balance right now. They're earning no money. They need to know what is likely to happen in the next few months."

Henry referenced a statement Davis had released earlier on Thursday, which said: "Right now, Tourism New Zealand are working on something special to encourage Kiwis to experience what New Zealand has on offer and it will be ready to launch when it's in the best interest for the industry and the country."

Henry said the Government shouldn't wait any longer.

"What are you waiting for? Because I've heard from the tourism industry that they are absolutely desperate. They can't wait for the Budget next Thursday. There are many, many jobs on the line right now."

Davis says he wants to know what the tourism industry will look like in the future so they can "have the paths to meet it".

"We've gone out and engaged with the tourism industry asking them what they want. We've sought their feedback and there's a number of ideas that have come out. We've heard what they've been saying.

"We are doing everything we can to respond to the needs and the wishes of the tourism industry. But this is, as we've heard many times over the last few weeks, this is an unprecedented situation."

To which Henry said that means it "needs an unprecedented response from the minister".

For Davis, the next stage is encouraging Kiwis to get out and explore the country to help support the tourism industry. He said he wants to ensure that everything is done in a sequence and is planned out, and that they "make sure we do it right".