What is the point of the Roche COVID-19 group?

Reports the Sir Brian Roche group hasn’t provided any formal advice to the Government in relation to the recent positive Covid-19 cases at the Grand Millennium rightly begs the question, what is the point of the group, National’s COVID-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“In answers to Written Parliamentary Questions COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins admitted he hasn’t received any formal advice in relation to the Grand Millennium Covid cases, in which it was revealed that a security guard had not been tested for COVID-19 for six months.

“Many companies working at the border have not been using the Government’s border testing register, the register has only just been made compulsory for companies to use, and the Government only started analysing the data on the voluntary register a few weeks ago.

“The cases out of the Grand Millennium and the lack of good governance they have revealed are deeply troubling.

“The Government has blamed everyone but itself for the debacle over the border testing register – from employers, to employees, we even had the unedifying spectacle of the Prime Minister telling Parliament a security guard had lied while the investigation was underway.

“The group led by Sir Brian Roche was supposed to advise the Minister on whether the Government’s response is performing efficiently and effectively and to provide advice on areas that need improvement.

“For the Sir Brian Roche-led group to make any difference the Government should have immediately asked them for advice on how to improve things off the back of the Grand Millennium cases.

“The Government should be making sure such a situation doesn’t occur again by taking the necessary steps to modify and improve its approach.

“The fact it hasn’t asked for advice is staggering and people will rightly be questioning what the point of the group is.”

Answers to Written Parliamentary Questions can be found here.