Govt hid how long security guard went without a test

The Government knew how long the security guard who tested positive for Covid-19 had been without a Covid test for six days before finally coming clean to New Zealanders, National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

In answers to Written Parliamentary Questions, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins admitted he was told that the security guard had gone five months without a test despite him being on a fortnightly testing cycle, on Thursday 8 April, six days before the Government finally told New Zealanders.

“This just shows how ‘open and transparent’ this Government really is. It was asked a number of times about the case at two separate press conferences, and it simply sat on the information,” Mr Bishop says.

“It was only when I asked repeatedly pressed the officials at the Health Select Committee on Wednesday 14 April that we were told the truth – he had gone five months without a test.

“Clearly the Government was embarrassed that such a failure had happened, but that’s not a reason to hide it from the public.

“The Government is lying by omission.

“The border is our first line of defence. The reason we don’t have Covid-19 in our community right now is because of what happens at the border, so we need to be making sure it’s as rock solid as it can be.

“Going five months without having a Covid-19 test is a real failure of our border security system, it puts all New Zealanders at risk. It is in the public interest for that information to be shared.

“For the Government to sit on that information for six days, to dance on the head of a pin in press conference after press conference and not disclose that information is a real failure of duty by the Government.”

The Written Parliamentary Question can be found here.