A political commentator says the partners of MPs need to let them "get on with it" after a Twitter post by Jacinda Ardern's fiancé on COVID-19 alert levels sparked backlash.
Prime Minister Ardern announced on Friday morning that Auckland would move back to alert level 1, but not before her fiancé Clarke Gayford tweeted Cabinet had made an "in-principle decision" but that it was pending final test results.
That led to accusations Gayford knew the alert level decision before the public, claims that were rejected by Ardern.
Speaking on Magic Talk's Sunday Cafe, political commentator Ben Thomas said Ardern and Gayford had to be given the benefit of the doubt.
"The issue comes with the fact that we know people talk to their partners about things," Thomas told host Mel Homer.
It was unwise however for Gayford to be posting about the alert level decision on Twitter, Thomas said.
"He sort of jumps in on social media and acts as a bit of a spokesperson for Government policy."
Thomas compared the incident to when National leader Judith Collins' husband David Wong-Tung shared several anti-Ardern memes on social media last year.
"That's why it's probably a good idea for partners of all MPS … they should probably just let their partners get on with it."
Former NZ First MP Jenny Marcroft, also appearing on Magic Talk, agreed with Thomas.
"Part of the problem I think for Clarke is that as a broadcaster there's an element of 'can't help myself'."
Gayford had put himself in a difficult position as a result, Marcroft said.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Ardern said Gayford was simply relaying information that was already known.
"He has not known the decision. He has known the process which is exactly what ministers conveyed in the public domain."
Ardern said there had not been a breach of the Cabinet manual.
"I really reject the implication. I think what he has taken off his own bat to rebut is the suggestion that we have had a decision we have had sat on."