By Alex Trelinski • 07 April 2020 • 11:36
NEW ZEALAND’S health minister has been demoted in cabinet status after admitting taking his family to the beach and also going out on a mountain trail during the country’s lockdown.
Dr David Clark admitted taking a 12-mile drive to a beach in the Dunedin area on the South Island.
Days later he was photographed breaking his own rules by going out on a mountain trail.
Clark tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardem, but she said that due to the Covid-19 crisis she would not accept it for the time being.
Instead she removed a secondary finance ministerial portfolio from him, and reduced his ‘seniority’ within the cabinet.
Ardem said that if Clark left, it would be a serious distraction from the country’s coronavirus response.
“But he does need to a pay a price. He broke the rules,” the PM added.
“As the health minister it’s my responsibility to not only follow the rules but set an example to other New Zealanders,” Dr Clark admitted.
“At a time when we are asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices I’ve let the team down. I’ve been an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me.”
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