'It's easy to blame a 21-year-old': Judith Collins, David Seymour say Government also at fault for COVID-19 outbreak

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is angry with the latest rule-breaking COVID-19 cases, but Opposition leaders say the Government needs to take some of the blame. 

"It is not appropriate and it is not OK for members of the team of five million to let the rest of us down," Ardern said at her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday. 

The seven days Aucklanders are now locked up at home for is being blamed not on a system, nor on the tricky coronavirus, but on the COVID-19 cases themselves.

"Those individuals are facing the full judgement of the entire nation," Ardern said. "There are consequences, undoubtedly." 

This case had puzzled contact tracers because while case M - the MIT student - had a sibling at Papatoetoe High School, the sibling had returned three negative tests. But the mother, Case N, was positive.

Genomic sequencing then determined cases M and N were most closely linked to the second family affected by this outbreak - cases D to H - but how it was transmitted still wasn't clear.

Now it's been revealed case N - the mother - went to visit this other family during Auckland's three-day stint at alert level 3 two weeks ago. 

"The two mothers in the families went for a walk together," Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed. 

It was a secret walk. Contact tracers had spoken to that other family multiple times and their visit from case N was never disclosed. 

"Ultimately, whether or not they forgot or lied, I cannot tell you," Ardern told The AM Show. "But either way, it has had a devastating consequence." 

Case M - who popped into the gym after his test - went through managed Isolation last year, and the Prime Minister says he should've known better.

"We drum in that messaging around the dangers of COVID pretty diligently for a full two-week period of sustained propaganda," Ardern said. 

The Opposition thinks the finger-pointing is misdirected and that the Prime Minister should hold up a mirror. 

"The Government is happy to blame this family but they're not prepared to take any kind of criticism of their own response," said ACT leader David Seymour. 

"It's always that case that the Government does not accept blame and quietly fills in the holes afterwards."

National leader Judith Collins said the Government should take some blame. 

"It's really easy just to blame a 21-year-old but it's actually much harder for the Government to blame itself around putting in place the processes and procedures that people need, for instance checking up on whether people are where they say they are." 

Ardern rejects that.

"This notion that people were not checked on is just wrong," she said. 

But a woman deemed a close contact after shopping at Kmart told Newshub she's heard nothing from officials since she called to check herself into self-isolation. 

"My experience is there's not been any follow-up and they've been relying on me self-managing and being self-disciplined."

The Prime Minister is now asking Kiwis to tell each other off. 

"If that means calling a family member or work colleague out for following the rules, then we should do that," she said. "Do it with kindness, but do it."