The Herald reports:
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield should explain just how much former Labour prime minister Helen Clark was involved in the medical evacuation of a UN staffer from Fiji to New Zealand, National’s Covid-19 spokesman Chris Bishop said.
On Friday, Bloomfield apologised and corrected an answer he had previously given to Parliament’s Health select committee about how the UN worker was allowed into the country for treatment.
Bloomfield had originally said he had no direct conversations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) about the transfer.
But on Friday, he wrote to the committee saying he had actually been texting MFAT secretary Chris Seed about it.
The texts, which were released to the committee, show Seed telling Bloomfield that Clark had talked with both himself and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta about the transfer.
As well as being a former prime minister, Clark is the former head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Seed said that his ministry was “doing the right thing and staying well away”.
Bloomfield replied saying “we’re all over it. I think we will get resolution”.
This was followed by a text saying the issue was “[a]ll sorted”.
So the official line is that this was a decision made bu the DHB without interference, and they just happened to reverse their decision.
A former Labour PM lobbying the Foreign Minister had no influence.
A former Labour PM lobbying the Secretary of Foreign Affairs had no influence.
The Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the DG of Health texting on it had no influence.
The DG of Health just two hours later saying it was all sorted was unrelated to the above.