Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the "disaster" Covid-19 outbreaks in Melbourne and Auckland have set back plans for the transtasman travel bubble.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was still keen to establish travel arrangements with neighbouring countries and one media outlet reported he hoped they could be in place by Christmas.
But Mr Peters today wasn't so sure, though he wouldn't be drawn on whether Christmas was too optimistic.
"We've been set back so hard," he said.
"We had the Melbourne disaster and then we had our own disaster. If we can fix it up in the way that we've got confidence in the Australian system and they've got confidence in ours, then yeah we can do that."
Mr Peters said the travel bubble depended on both countries having tight borders.
"The protocols could be put in place in two days flat, quite frankly, but what you need to have ensured is the maritime and aviation surveillance in both countries is good enough to assure us that we've got a safe bubble."
Mr Peters said a team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was still working on the arrangements and he continued to think it was a "great idea".
He also said the travel bubble "New Zealand's idea - not Scott Morrison's".