Morrah defends himself

Radio NZ reports:

Morrah wasn’t leaping to a call for vengeance over a single Ministry of Health slip-up. His question came after nearly five months of reporting on the ministry’s shortcomings.

In April and May, he honed in on health workers’ struggles to access  personal protective equipment, or PPE, in hospitals and community care facilities. 

That reporting has since been reinforced by the Auditor General John Ryan, who found that Bloomfield’s repeated assurances that plenty of PPE was available, didn’t always match the situation on the ground.

In May, he reported on the Ministry of Health’s failure to distribute adequate supplies of flu vaccines to hundreds of GP clinics.

Morrah was also one of those reporting in June on the lack of testing for people in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, along with concerning decisions on compassionate leave.

Last week he broke the story on the fact that nearly two-thirds of all border staff hadn’t been tested for Covid-19, despite a government assurance in late June that they would be swabbed.

Morrah says he doesn’t regret asking whether Bloomfield should resign. He sees those sorts of hard questions as part of his responsibility as a journalist.

I think has arguably done more than any other person in NZ to improve the public health response to Covid-19. Without his stories, the failures would remain hidden and probably not be acted on.

If National was in Government I’m sure there would be some on the right who would denounce him as a commie agitator just as some on the left today are calling him worse than Mike Hosking.

There are some journalists who do let their leanings show. I don’t think Morrah is one of them. He excels in being able to do solid investigative journalism and I am sure he will annoy future National Ministers just as much as he is annoying current Labour ones.

In that RNZ story it is worth reflecting on the huge range of stories has has broken or contributed to – from lack of PPE to lack of flu vaccines to lack of testing in isolation to lack of testing of border staff. He has obviously developed a very good network of people on the ground who trust him to reveal what is really happening.

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