Viewers stunned by scenes at live Covid press conference

·3-min read

Viewers tuning into a live press conference in New Zealand were shocked and confused to find an entirely different scene in front of them.

On Friday, the country's Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins was set to front the cameras to discuss the Trans-Tasman travel bubble amid the growing Covid outbreak in NSW.

However, the press conference was delayed, due to a wedding happening at the same time as Mr Hipkins' talk. The bride was Ilam MP Sarah Pallett.

Before the minister stood up to speak, Ms Pallett was seen walking right in front of the cameras, about to go down the aisle in a red dress, flanked by her adult daughters, 1 News reported.

Viewers would have heard the bagpipes too, Stuff reported.

Ilam MP Sarah Pallett's wedding held up a New Zealand press conference on Friday. Source: 1 News
Ilam MP Sarah Pallett's wedding held up a New Zealand press conference on Friday. Source: 1 News

Ms Pallet even tweeted about her wedding day hours before she walked down the aisle.

"It’s a grand day to get married! Photographic evidence of ‘can’t beat Wellington on a good day’," she tweeted along with a photo of blue skies.

Mr Hipkins reportedly wished the newlyweds well and said he had never crashed a wedding before, 1 News reported.

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New Zealand makes call on NSW flights

As NSW battles the latest Covid-19 outbreak, thousands of Kiwis are stranded in the state, unable to get home across the ditch as planned.

Mercy flights were set to commence on Friday, however the New Zealand government canned them due to the heightened risk of transmission across the Tasman.

"We've been following the situation in New South Wales very closely," Mr Hipkins announced on Friday.

"If the lockdown isn't working and the people haven't been following the rules ... then that does add additional risk for us here in New Zealand."

"We've made the decision today to hold off on the return flights that were due to start from 11:59pm tonight."

Previously, Jacinda Ardern's government had announced a proposal to allow citizens and family members to fly home on Saturday.

Instead, Kiwis stranded in NSW will have the option of waiting out the outbreak or head back home and complete two weeks in hotel quarantine.

Kiwis stranded in NSW will have the option of waiting out the outbreak or returning to New Zealand and doing two weeks fo quarantine in a hotel. Source: AAP
Kiwis stranded in NSW will have the option of waiting out the outbreak or returning to New Zealand and doing two weeks fo quarantine in a hotel. Source: AAP

However, the government will waive quarantine fees for people who choose to return home.

"We will be saying to people who don't have an urgent need to return home please hold back, so that those who do urgently need to return back to New Zealand can do so," Mr Hipkins said.

Kiwis stuck in Queensland will be able to access the 'green flights' home, as planned from tomorrow.

Mr Hipkins also said the sunshine state may be welcomed fully back into the bubble next week.

"Early next week we should be able to make a decision about resuming green flights from Queensland. The risk does seem to be quite well contained," he said.

Four jurisdictions - Victoria, Tasmania, SA and ACT - currently have quarantine-free flights into New Zealand as part of the trans-Tasman bubble.

From Saturday, WA and NT will also be welcomed back into the free travel arrangement.

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