Barry Soper: Another government botch-up which shouldn't be tolerated

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 10:20AM
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Barry Soper: Another government botch-up which shouldn't be tolerated

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 10:20AM

Of course no one has lost their job for the Covid 19 cockup, it's not in the Government's DNA.  But someone has been given a job, essentially window dressing what was an appalling breach, potentially risking all the sacrifice people have been asked to make over the past three months.

That's not to say that Air Commodore Digby Webb isn't good at his job, but we are clearly meant to feel reassured because of his military background and the discipline that brings with it.   He's being brought in to make sure things should happen the way they are meant to.  That certainly wasn't the case when two women came to the country from the UK to be here for a dying parent.

The appointment of the military man's a sop.

Don't know what it says for the straight talking former top cop Mike Bush who's meant to be in charge of the Government's task-force.

The rules, we're told, are quite simple.  When someone wants compassionate leave after arriving in the country they are meant to be tested for Covid 19 before leaving quarantine.  These two were only tested after their arrival in Wellington after driving the length of the North Island.   They were positive.

What a cock-up.    

Covid cupid Ashley Bloomfield, who now seems to have disappeared without trace, assured us the women had no contact with anyone which is being disputed by the Nats who say they got lost on their way out of Auckland and contacted acquaintances who put them back on course and were rewarded with a kiss and cuddle!

Bush is checking the canoodling out.  He also dropped a clanger on Heather du Plessis-Allan's Drive show on ZB telling her there were half a dozen people who were at a funeral on compassionate leave who took off after it, not just the two we were led to believe had scapered. It seems those two are still at large, although Bush tells us they have tested negative for the nasty virus.

So who's being held to account? Where does the buck stop? The answer's no-one and the bucks just keep flowing from the Beehive and into the likes of Parliament's playground where $242,000 was spent on a slide - but that's another scandalous story.

Fact is the penalty in the Covid case isn't being visited on those at the centre of the botch-up, it's being imposed on those who've travelled to New Zealand to see their sick loved ones or attend their funerals. They'll no longer get compassionate leave from quarantine simply because some numpty in the Health Ministry failed to do their job.

That's not fair.

At least our beleaguered Health Minister won't be on the parliamentary slide. He'll remain on the seesaw with his boss Jacinda Ardern who maintains they're in the same boat. Clark's part of fixing the problem, she insists, not part of it.