David Clark resigns as Health Minister - The Bay's News First
03 July, 2020, 19:57
David Clark had already been demoted after going mountain biking and taking his family on a beach outing some 15 miles from his Dunedin home, the UK's Guardian reported.
He kept his job but was kept out of the public eye, with health department director-general Ashley Bloomfield appearing alongside Ardern to give daily updates on the coronavirus crisis.
New Zealand has not seen a new domestic case since May 22 and has completely scrapped its lockdown restrictions at home, but the country's border - and therefore its $40billion tourism sector - remain firmly shut.
"David has come to the conclusion his presence in the role is creating an unhelpful distraction from the Government's ongoing response to Covid-19 and wider health reforms", Ardern said.
In the week's since Clark's demotion public dislike of the minister has been growing, with many praising the government's overall coronavirus efforts but making a point to single out Clark for criticism.
Health Minister David Clark has announced his resignation, following months of negative headlines over personal slip-ups and his handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
Clark's reticence to take accountability for the errors, instead placing responsibility on Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, drew public outrage.
"I've been an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me", Mr Clark said at the time.
He offered his resignation at the time; however Ardern said it would cause too much disruption.
Mr Clark said: "I take full responsibility for decisions made and taken during my time as Minister of Health".
Ardern would not directly say whether a viral video of Clark appearing to blame Bloomfield for border slip-ups was the catalyst for her discussions with him.
New Zealand's embattled Health Minister resigned on Thursday after security slip-ups at quarantine facilities where the coronavirus was detected just days after officials declared it had been eliminated from the country.
On Twitter, readers noted that Clark might still be a better performer that their own politicians in the fight against Covid-19.
However, her leadership during the health crisis has propelled her Labour Party to a record 57 per cent in a recent opinion poll. As David has said to me the needs of the team must come before him as an individual.
Clark meant to remain in parliament as a lower-ranking lawmaker. It's no secret that health is a challenging portfolio.
Mr Clark denied he was pushed from his ministerial position ahead of the 19 September election, saying he only stayed on after breaking lockdown because he did not want to leave in the midst of a health emergency.
Before Curran fell ill, players and staff had been subject to a total of 702 tests, all of which gave negative results. He has been monitored by the team doctor throughout and was tested for COVID-19 earlier today, the statement added.
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Over the past 14 days, new positive cases have been rising in 21 counties, according to Spotlight PA's COVID-19 tracker . Cases have remained relatively steady over the past few weeks, although four new cases were added Wednesday.
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