COVID-19 border tests 'did not meet expectations' - Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has admitted border testing for COVID-19 fell short of the Government's expectations but says there will be marked improvement moving forward.

In an interview on The AM Show on Tuesday, Ardern said while there was testing taking place at the border and in quarantine facilities it was "not nearly as comprehensive" as it should have been.

Ardern says there was supposed to be tests for asymptomatic and symptomatic people but asymptomatic people were not being tested.

"What we are learning is while we did have testing stations at the border... we weren't picking up necessarily all asymptomatic workers as we expected." 

"It did not meet our expectations."

Newshub revealed last week 63.5 percent of border workers in Auckland had never been tested for COVID-19, despite assurances from the Ministry of Health there was a testing program in place for the required people. 

Ardern says there has now been a mandated order from the Government to ensure testing is up to scratch. 

 "We have now gone back through and all that [testing] is happening now and we have set out our expectations in an order to make sure that does happen."

She added there had been some reluctance from workers to get tested for the virus but stressed she was not placing blame on them.

"I say that not to blame people, but to raise awareness. If you look on social media there are some horrific statements about people who have been found to have COVID-19," she said. 

"We have people now who are terrified if they catch it they will be fired - that will not happen."

"The virus is the problem, people are not the problem - they are the solution and our team will only stay together if we are supportive of each other."

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has blasted the border testing bungle, saying under National it wouldn't have happened.

In an interview with Newshub Nation on Saturday Collins revealed a small part of National's border policy - that staff would all be tested for COVID-19.

"If we say that people are being tested, you can understand and believe that they will be tested, that this is not something pie-in-the-sky."