Thursday, 13 August 2020

David Clark stepped down as NZ Health Minister

Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

WELLINGTON: David Clark stepped down as Health Minister after facing a backlash for his breaching of Level 4 quarantine rules. Recently he had been pressured to resign, as over 2,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling for him to be sacked.

New Zealand’s Health Minister, David Clark, stepped down from his position, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, initially reluctant to fire him over attempts for “continuity” in the COVID-19 response, accepting his resignation. He was demoted to the bottom of Cabinet rankings, according to Newshub, and stripped of his Associate Finance portfolio.

Ardern said that she is appointing Chris Hipkins as Health Minister “until the election”, NZ Herald reported.

Clark said that it was an “extraordinary privilege”, to which he had given “my all”. But, according to him, attempting to retain his position would distract from the government’s COVID-19 response.

“I want to put on record again that it has been an honour to work alongside the director general of health Ashley Bloomfield. Now is the right time to hand over the reins”, he said, noting that the public health system “needed to be rebuilt”.

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