PM backs Clark to keep job

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says under-fire Health Minister David Clark will keep his job.

Speaking in Queenstown where she has announced an $85 million Government injection for Queenstown's fragile Covid-hit economy, Ms Ardern said Dr Clark was on the same page as Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.

It comes after  Dr Clark was accused of throwing Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield under a bus.

Asked if she Dr Clark would keep his job at least until the election, she confirmed he would.

Health Minister David Clark and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: Getty Images
Health Minister David Clark. Photo: Getty Images

She said he had been part of a team which had successfully fought Covid-19.

He and Dr Bloomfield had the "same perspective" on Covid-19 and Dr Clark had huge respect for him.

"He is an exceptional public servant.

"I know that Dr Clark feels that way to."

It was not Dr Clark's intention to throw him under the bus.

Dr Clark was accused of humiliating Dr Bloomfield earlier this week in a media stand-up.

At the time, Clark said: "The Director-General has accepted protocol wasn't being followed; he has accepted responsibility for that and has set about putting it right".

He delivered this line while Bloomfield was standing behind him.

National leader Todd Muller said this was appalling behaviour and his health spokesman, Michael Woodhouse, said Clark owed Bloomfield and apology.

With NZ Herald

Comments

And so it should be. There is no problem between Dr Bloomfield and Dr Clark. On Wednesday they did an impeccable job working together to answer questions during the health select committee, yet a carefully edited, and out of context video from Tova O'brien has everyone up in arms. At best the 'throwing under the bus' story belongs in the gossip column. It is not news and just distracts! Lets not forget that in mid May Tova suggested Dr Bloomfield was 'being deliberately misleading' on domestic COVID cases. Barring the obvious cockup Dr Bloomfield has done an outstanding job and Dr Clark has put more energy into the health system than any other minster in the last decade. We are getting a new hospital, nurses are getting paid more, there is a new focus on mental health, the every troublesome DHBs are getting fixed (or deleted)... it all looks very promising to me.

Contrary to what many have been saying, Clark has made a lot happen as Minister of Health. I think Snowman is right that there is no rift between him and the DG. Clark appointed Bloomfield and Carolyn McElnay and we would have been in serious trouble if he had not corrected the culling of public health expertise that occurred under the previous government. But, he hasn't handled the extraordinary media pressure well and in an election year is going to be a liability. I don't think Jacinda could replace him at this point, but perhaps he should stand down as Minister.

Clark has well and truly passed his use-by-date. JA needs to show their must be accountability. Bloomfield does not deserve this!

Sounds like @Palin has also had some of the Tova Kool-aid. More research and thought is the recommended antidote.

Agree with Snowman. Tova tends to side with the Nats whenever possible. Typical media junkie. Makes a giant mountain from a pimple

 

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