Simon Bridges claims Government will announce Cook Island travel bubble on Monday

Simon Bridges claims to have got the jump on the Government, saying it will announce a travel bubble with the Cook Islands on Monday.

His cheeky jibe was directed at Trade Minister David Parker during a pre-election debate on Thursday.

The debate centered around how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed New Zealand's role in the world, and in the Pacific. 

Bridges used the debate as an opportunity to flex his apparent insider knowledge, informing the waiting crowd they may be able to holiday in the Islands sooner than they think. 

"Let me try and spike the announcement next week," he said to Parker. 

"I understand we're announcing the Cooks [bubble] David on Monday, and I look forward to that," he continued as the crowd laughed.

But Parker was unruffled, replying "as always, you know more than me."

Bridges didn't back down telling the crowd "wait until Monday and see if I'm right! You heard it here first, although Jacinda will probably move it to Tuesday just because of that."

His comments follow weeks of speculation over if and when the Government will announce travel between New Zealand and the Islands. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had previously said a bubble is being discussed but "it does take quite a lot of work".

"We know we don't have community transmission but we need to know we are not going to create issues for parts of the Pacific that do not have COVID," she told The AM Show in July.