Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hit back at United States President Donald Trump's "patently wrong" claim that New Zealand is seeing a "surge" in COVID-19 cases.
"Obviously I don't think there's any comparison between New Zealand's current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are being seen daily in the United States," Ardern said on Tuesday.
"Obviously, every country is experiencing its own fight with COVID-19; it is a tricky virus, but not one where I would compare New Zealand's current status to the United States.
"I think anyone who's following COVID and its transmission globally will quite easily see that New Zealand's nine cases in a day does not compare to the United States' tens of thousands, and in fact does not compare to most countries in the world."
The Prime Minister was referring to the nine new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the community on Monday, compared to 42,000 new cases reported in the US on Sunday.
Trump on Tuesday (NZ time) told reporters New Zealand was experiencing a "surge" in new cases and said it's not something the US wants.
"The places they were using to hold up, they are having a big surge. I don't want that. I don't want that. They were holding up names of countries, and now they are saying 'whoops'," Trump said.
"Even New Zealand, you see what is going on in New Zealand. They beat it, they beat it. It was like front page, they beat it because they wanted to show me something. The problem is [a] big surge in New Zealand. It's terrible. We don't want that."
Ardern said she is not concerned about New Zealand's COVID-19 status being misrepresented.
"Obviously it's patently wrong," she said of Trump's comments. "We are still one of the best-performing countries in the world when it comes to COVID and our workers are focussed on keeping it that way."
Green Party co-leader James Shaw described Trump's remarks as "absurd".