Mike's Minute: We need to examine our Covid response

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 9:48AM

Mike's Minute: We need to examine our Covid response

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 9:48AM

Sir Ray Avery, a former New Zealander of the Year, is calling for an inquiry into our Covid response. He is not alone.

He argues it's urgent, he is not alone. He argues we don’t have a plan for a pandemic, he is not alone. The government says now is not the right time. That's what this government does a lot of, talk and stall.

We got new revelations yesterday over what the Cabinet knew about lack of testing around the border workers.  You'll remember the border workers, the lack of testing, and the outbreak that got Auckland locked back down.

The revelation at the time was the government were telling us a comprehensive programme of testing had been rolled out when no such thing had happened. 36 percent of workers had been tested, remember that?

Upon being busted, the government argued they thought testing had been fully rolled out. New material shows that's not true either. Not only weren't workers getting tested, Cabinet were told repeatedly they weren't, despite the fact the government said they were.

Pick a word for that. Dishonesty, would be mine.

Remember Ashley Bloomfield, who took the main heat for it, used the word dissonance to explain it? I'm not sure the briefing papers, that at no point say the testing programme is fully rolled out, is dissonance. It's Cabinet Ministers being lazy, if not thick.

Something is either fully rolled out, or it isn't. If it doesn’t say it is, it isn't. And, of course, nothing stopped any of them at any time saying "Hey Ashley, these papers don't tell me if testing is fully rolled out, so is it fully rolled out?" Not hard, eh?

When you add the scandal around testing kits, PPE or lack of it, the lack of testing, you've got quite the haul of inquiry material to be going on with. So why aren't we?

In Victoria, they’ve had the hotel and response inquiry. So as badly as they cocked it up at least they're not afraid of accountability.

What about our lot? Are there questions, both general and specific, over how we handled this? You bet there are. So what are they afraid of? How bad can the truth be?

And is their inaction amid growing calls from the likes of Sir Ray Avery, the first of this term's lack of delivery?