Health Minister denies flouting rules by moving house during level 4 lockdown

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Apr 2020, 7:13PM
Health Minister David Clark was seen repeatedly between two Dunedin properties during the month-long lockdown. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Health Minister David Clark was seen repeatedly between two Dunedin properties during the month-long lockdown. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Health Minister denies flouting rules by moving house during level 4 lockdown

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Apr 2020, 7:13PM

Health Minister David Clark reportedly moved house while the rest of the country was on lockdown, but says he didn't breach the rules for the third time.

Clark was spotted repeatedly between two Dunedin properties during the month-long lockdown period.

The properties are believed to only be a few hundred metres apart.

In a statement, Clark said he used his previous house as a work office while the country was under level 4 restrictions.

"I moved house, using the services of a moving company, on the Wednesday immediately before the level 4 lockdown began," he said.

"My new house is just up the road from my old one.

"During lockdown I used my old house as my office and occasionally walked the odd item or box back with me, as is within the rules."

Earlier this month, he was demoted and stripped of his Associate Finance portfolio after he admitted taking his family on a 40km round trip to the beach during lockdown and also going mountain biking on a trail.

Clark told the country he'd been an idiot after coming clean to the Prime Minister about his family beach trip.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that under normal circumstances, Clarke would've been sacked for his behaviour.

Ardern said: "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.

"I expect better, and so does New Zealand."

Clark, who offered his resignation, told media that he felt "like a complete dick to be honest".

"At a time when we are asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices I've let the team down. I've been an idiot," Clark said in a statement earlier this month.

If this latest incident was considered to be against alert level 4 restrictions, it would be Clark's third breach in just over a month.