fbpx

Health Minister David Clark Offers To Resign After Revealing Beach Trip During Lockdown

Apr 07, 2020
1119 Views

Health Minister David Clark has revealed that he took a trip to the beach during the alert level 4 lockdown and has offered to resign.

Clark said he drove his family 20km from his house in Dunedin to Doctor’s Point Beach for a walk during the first weekend of the lockdown in breach of the rules.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said under normal conditions she would sack him but to avoid disruption she would be demoting him instead.

Clark said he provided the Prime Minister last night with a complete picture of his activity outside his home during alert level 4 as part of his preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee.

He said the trip to Doctor’s Point Beach was a clear breach of the lockdown principles of staying local and not driving long distances to reach recreation spots.

“As the Health Minister it’s my responsibly to not only follow the rules but set an example to other New Zealanders.

“At a time when we are asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices I’ve let the team down. I’ve been an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me.

He said he had apologised to the prime minister for his lack of judgement and offered her his resignation.

“In the interest of full disclosure, since the lockdown began I have also driven my family to a walking track approximately two kilometres from our house for a walk and gone for occasional runs, all of which were local and within the rules, and one bike ride which is already in the public domain.”

In a statement the prime minister said New Zealand expected better.

“Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.

“But right now, my priority is our collective fight against Covid-19. We cannot afford massive disruption in the health sector or to our response. For that reason, and that reason alone, Dr Clark will maintain his role.

“But he does need to pay a price. He broke the rules.

“While he maintains his Health portfolio, I am stripping him of his role as Associate Finance Minister and demoting him to the bottom of our Cabinet rankings.

“I expect better, and so does New Zealand,” Ardern said.

Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.

2020 ILT Southland Sports Awards Night Four
News, Southland
116 views
News, Southland
116 views

2020 ILT Southland Sports Awards Night Four

Southland Sports News - Jul 02, 2020

Mirfin sweeps up second prize at ILT Southland Sports Awards World junior rowing champion Shakira Mirfin has claimed her second award on the penultimate night…

City Block Redevelopment Receives $10 million Government Funding Boost
Community, News
717 views
Community, News
717 views

City Block Redevelopment Receives $10 million Government Funding Boost

Aimee Wilson - Jul 02, 2020

A day after the announcement that $10 million of Government money was heading south for City Block, developer Scott O’Donnell…

The Hawthorndale Care Village Plans Unveiled
Community, News
910 views
Community, News
910 views

The Hawthorndale Care Village Plans Unveiled

News Desk - Jul 02, 2020

The first images of the proposed Hawthorndale Care Village aged care development have been unveiled. The Hawthorndale Care Village Charitable…

Exciting Times For Southland Softball Association
News, Sports News
824 views
News, Sports News
824 views

Exciting Times For Southland Softball Association

Aimee Wilson - Jul 02, 2020

Participation in softball has been growing at such a rate over the past 5 years, there is no wonder Invercargill…

Government School Lunch Programme To Be Rolled Out Across The South
Education, News
917 views
Education, News
917 views

Government School Lunch Programme To Be Rolled Out Across The South

Malcolm Gayfer - Jul 02, 2020

The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people…