Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is downplaying the suggestion the Tauranga by-election was a drubbing for the Labour Party, saying it is hard to read anything into the result.
National's Sam Uffindell won by more than 6000 votes, well ahead of Labour's Jan Tinetti and ACT's Cameron Luxton.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Tinetti received one of the better results the party has seen in Tauranga in a number of decades.
"I think actually for by-elections, it's very hard to read into them as someone who's run in a by-election myself because it's just simply not the same as in general elections, you don't often have every party represented, so I'm not quick to read into individual outcomes."
Tinetti came in with a very similar proportion of the vote to what Labour did in Tauranga when it became government in 2017, Ardern says.
But it's difficult to extrapolate too many lessons from by-elections, she says.
"Of course hearing from Jan and what she was hearing and experiencing, we listen to that in the same way as what we hear and experience with all of our MPs and every Tuesday we reflect on that in our caucus meeting."
Ardern acknowledges that it's tough for many people at the moment.
"People do see the government taking every effort we can to try and ease those pressures on people and Jan heard that out on the streets as well."
People were likely look to the international environment and see that New Zealand was not the only country currently dealing with significant inflation and energy issues, says Ardern.
"It is our job to ease the impact of that and that's what our Budget initiatives were all about."
Covid-19 traffic light settings
Flu is now a greater cause of respiratory hospitalisation in some Auckland hospitals than Covid-19, Ardern says when asked if the government is considering raising the Covid traffic light setting back to red.
"When you think about back when we changed to the orange settings, then we were looking at roughly a rolling average of 10,000 cases, we had over 500 hospitalisations, you know close to 30 in ICU.
"Our rolling average now is under 5000 cases, we've got about, what did we have yesterday - about 350 in hospital and five in ICU."
Some hospitals, particularly Counties Manukau, are currently experiencing significant pressure but it is not just Covid-19 but also flu and winter illnesses, says Ardern.
"Here I have an ask for the public, please get your flu vaccine, please wear your mask, it's not only helpful for Covid it's helpful for flu and please if your issues are non-acute but you do need medical attention, do also make use of Healthline."