Two women released from quarantine before testing positive for COVID-19 were given permission to leave after lobbying from a National MP, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has claimed in Parliament.
Health Minister David Clark, in response to Hipkins' allegation, said he was aware Hutt South MP Chris Bishop had provided a written positive representation which may have led to the women being granted the exemption.
"Mr Speaker I am aware of that," Clark said on Thursday. "I just would ask members to be careful around these situations.
"On the one hand people have been requiring or requesting that people be let go early, on the other hand we have seen the risk this presents to New Zealanders".
Speaker Trevor Mallard called it a "serious allegation".
The women were released from the Novotel Ellerslie and used a vehicle provided by friends to travel from Auckland to Wellington to see their dying parent.
It was revealed they became lost in the Auckland motorway system and phoned the friends, who provided the vehicle, for help.
The two met and guided the women back the right way and they had "limited physical contact" for approximately five minutes, the Ministry of Health says.
Since arriving in Wellington and testing positive for COVID-19, the women only had physical contact with one family member.
Their friends have now been tested and are awaiting the results.
New Zealand now has 1157 confirmed cases of COVID-19.