02 July 2020 - New Zealand Health Minister resigns following coronavirus missteps
New Zealand health minister David Clark resigns after breaking coronavirus lockdown to go mountain biking, passing the buck on border failures
(ABC News, 02/07/2020)
New Zealand's health minister has resigned following a series of personal blunders during the coronavirus pandemic.
David Clark had earlier described himself as an "idiot" for breaking the nation's lockdown measures and then last week appeared to blame a respected health official for border lapses, generating an angry response from the public.
Announcing his resignation, Mr Clark said he had put all his energy into the job.
New Zealand's Health Minister Resigns After Coronavirus Criticism
Himani Sarkar and Jane Wardell (The New York Times, 01/07/2020)
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.
David Clark was also under fire for personally breaching strict lockdown rules twice earlier in the year, by taking his family on a beach trip and driving to a mountain biking track.
"It has become increasingly clear to me that my continuation in the role is distracting from the government's overall response to COVID-19 and the global pandemic," Clark said at a news conference in Wellington.
New Zealand health minister David Clark quits over handling of Covid-19 outbreak
Eleanor Ainge Roy (The Guardian, 02/07/2020)
New Zealand’s health minister has resigned after a series of major missteps during the coronavirus crisis which saw him draw the ire of the public and the prime minister.
Dr David Clark has held the health portfolio since Labour was elected in 2017 but has largely been viewed as an ineffectual minister who has struggled to make an impact during his term.
During New Zealand’s lockdown, Clark was twice discovered breaching the strict stay-at-home rules; once by going mountain biking, and a second time when he took his family for a beach trip 23km from his Dunedin home.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Health Minister David's Clark's resignation
Amelia Wade (The New Zeland Herald, 02/07/2020)
Health Minister David Clark won't be getting his job back in September if Labour is re-elected, the Prime Minister says.
Jacinda Ardern said she had "frank discussions" late last week with Clark about how the primary focus should be the Government's response to Covid-19 and there were "some issues" getting in the way of that
"He reached the conclusion that his ongoing presence in the health role was causing too much distraction from the Government's ongoing response to Covid-19. An assessment I agree with."