The Prime Minister has defended Dr Ashley Bloomfield after the health official admitted he should have refused a complimentary, VIP cricket experience with the Blackcaps.
The Director-General of Health said on Thursday he was "incorrect" when he said he had attended the match in a "private capacity".
"I am in the role of the Director-General of Health every day. I recognise that the invitation was extended to me because I am in that position," he said in a statement.
"It is important that I avoid any potential for perception of a conflict of interest or personal benefit."
The Blackcaps invited Dr Bloomfield to their T20 match against Australia on Sunday. It was revealed on Wednesday he was asked about access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Responding to his statement later on Thursday, Jacinda Ardern says she takes "a very simple view" on the situation.
"I don't think anyone in New Zealand would want to deny Dr Bloomfield the chance to watch some cricket.
"If someone raises a question mark over travel and vaccinations, I don't immediately take the view that anyone had any ill intent with that - certainly not Dr Bloomfield."
Dr Bloomfield said he thought he was acting within the Public Service Commission Guidelines when accepting the invitation.
"On re-reading the guidelines, I now accept that declaring the complimentary tickets to the game on a gift register was insufficient and that they should have been refused, as they will be from now on."
Dr Bloomfield said he's now clarified this with the Public Service Commissioner.
"I have donated the price of the tickets, and also the price of tickets to two Hurricanes games last year [also previously declared], to Wellington City Mission."
Ardern says she doesn't believe Dr Bloomfield was told to issue the statement.
"No, I don't believe so, I have no knowledge of that," she says.
The Ministry of Health had earlier said Dr Bloomfield attended the cricket match in a private capacity and chatted with NZ Cricket chief executive David White.