1 Oct 2023

'Bugger' - Labour leader Chris Hipkins tests positive for Covid-19 at crucial point in election campaign

12:40 pm on 1 October 2023
Labour's Chris Hipkins and Ginny Andersen visit Porirua Women and Family Centre to talk with staff about their work. There is a combination of Whare Manaaki, WINZ, Women's Refuge, Living Without Violence at the centre.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Labour leader Chris Hipkins has revealed that he has tested positive for Covid-19, just as the party prepares to release its manifesto today.

He has had cold and flu symptoms since yesterday and will be isolating for five days or until he returns a negative test.

Hipkins earlier cancelled most of his engagements today after feeling unwell.

He was still intending to be at the realise of the party's manifesto this afternoon, but confirmed in a statement at lunchtime that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

"Bugger! After a rough night I woke up this morning feeling pretty unwell and just got this test result.

"I'm in close contact with New Zealanders on the campaign trail and I don't want to pass it on to anyone, so I'll be following the guidance and isolating for a few days or until I get a negative test.

"I'll try to keep up as many campaign engagements remotely as I can."

The Labour Party said it was working through the implications of how they will deal with the issue.

Further south, Labour's candidate for Dunedin Rachel Brooking has also tested positive for Covid-19 and will be taking a few days off campaigning.

National party leader Christopher Luxon has sent his rival a get well message.

He said he looked forward to seeing Hipkins back on the campaign trail.

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