Assistant Chief of Defence roped in to oversee isolation/quarantine; Ministry of Health contact tracing 320 people related to Tuesday's two new COVID-19 cases

Assistant Chief of Defence roped in to oversee isolation/quarantine; Ministry of Health contact tracing 320 people related to Tuesday's two new COVID-19 cases
Jacinda Ardern, Ashley Bloomfield. Getty Images.

The Defence Force is being brought in to oversee COVID-19 quarantine and managed isolation facilities.

The move follows revelations two overseas arrivals were let out of isolation early on compassionate grounds before being tested for COVID-19. They on Tuesday tested positive.

The Ministry of Health is now contact tracing 320 people related to these people who arrived in Auckland from the UK and then drove to Wellington.

The Ministry is confident they didn’t make contact with anyone on the journey. Those being traced include people on the pair's flights and those who were present in the facilities they stayed in. The contacts are being tested and isolated until they receive a negative result.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed the Assistant Chief of Defence, Darryn (Digby) Webb, to oversee quarantine and managed isolation facilities. Webb will report to government ministers.

Ardern said he will be able to access military logistics and personnel.

The Defence Force will also do an audit of the system.

Ardern said the fact the two women from the UK weren’t tested was an “unacceptable failure of the system”.

“There is no room for error - even if it is human error,” she said.

Health Minister David Clark doesn't know how many other people may have been let out of isolation before being tested. He is seeking this information from the Ministry.

He on Tuesday changed the rules so that people won't be able to leave isolation early on compassionate grounds until the system is sound.

Those in isolation/quarantine need to be tested on days 3 and 12 of the 14-day isolation period.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

There are currently about 3500 people in managed isolation or quarantine.

Clark hasn't offered his resignation over the matter. 

UPDATE:

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday night released this statement, which largely confirms allegations made by National's health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse:

Additional information about the journey between Auckland and Wellington taken by two New Zealanders with COVID-19 who returned to New Zealand to see their dying parent has been confirmed.

Upon leaving the Novotel in a private vehicle provided by friends, the women got lost on the Auckland motorway system.

On realising this they phoned the same friends who supplied the vehicle, who met and guided them to the correct motorway so they could go in the right direction. As part of this the pair were in limited physical contact with the two friends for approximately five minutes.

These two people have been contacted by local health authorities for a health check. Both had already had a test for COVID-19 once they heard of the positive results and are in self isolation.  

In addition, health authorities have been informed of instances where friends have made contactless deliveries of food or care packages to the women while they have been in self-isolation in recent days.

These packages were contactless deliveries and the friends who have delivered the packages have taken all appropriate precautions to maintain physical distance. As such there is no risk to the community from these interactions.

It is important to remember that the two women were distressed at the time by the sudden death of their family member.  

It is not uncommon for information and details to evolve, including details being missed during case interviews and contact tracing where there is heightened emotion, intense grief and stress.

The information was gathered as part of a second interview conducted by the local public health unit on Tuesday evening and subsequent interviews on Wednesday.

This information was communicated to the Ministry of Health on the afternoon of Wednesday 17 June.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

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165 Comments

21
up

Wow that is fairly huge.
Under Jacinda we could flick a hell of a lot of the public servants management. 100 committees set up to look at this that and the other thing, now the military to do another depts job.
She has no faith in the public sector, that is forsure.
Grab the popcorn, there is going to be some serious whiners saying this is the start of military rule.

15
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Basically what her move says is that she has no confidence in the MOH or its minister ; but she would not replace him - obviously no one in her cabinet who could do the job.

By forming all those committees when she was first elected she did the same thing. Maybe she is more on to it than I give her credit for because I have no faith that Govt departments can do something well and for minimal money. When you look at bill of $250k for a bloody side, you need to seriously sit down and fix the issues.

12
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By forming all those committees when she was first elected she did the same thing.

When John Key's government first started in 2008, they formed more committees and working groups than this current Labour government did.

So by your logic, that means John Key knew his cabinet also couldn't perform, or he wouldn't have need all those committees.

Or, actually, it's just a normal thing new governments do.

There we have it. Our public officials are useless.

Maybe we need to stop electing governments who can't articulate a concrete policy agenda before an election, or ones that are so fantastical they might as well be outright lies?

Have patience. Todd Muller has asked Amy Adams to come up with a plan for him, so clearly things are changing.

They could always put Nick Smith, 'the flustered fowl', there. Remember him desperately waving towards swamps when, under Key's government, he was all red-faced and flustered whenever he told the media where the land was for more housing.

BREAKING NEWS from my Microsoft News pop-up at 1:08pm: yet another case from overseas with Covid ! Man in his 60s after arriving from PAKISTAN of all places!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What are we doing allowing inbounds from every god-forsaken country on earth.

I'm hoping our newly involved army will be bringing with them a competent dictator. I never thought it would come to this!

Indeed, who would you put there?

Let's see if the employees employed to do the job put in a claim for unfair dismissal. LOL
Lovin it!

They didn't have any salary cuts during the pandemic. I don't understand why Cindy didn't extend the cuts to the lower levels of government other than her ministers, which of couse has not been actioned yet. Ongoing incompetence from the ministry. I know a government employee who had a great (extended) holiday on full pay. Disgraceful, really, when others were taking a salary cut and still had to work.

To be fair it turns out that the PM and her Ministers didn't pass the legislation to enable their own pay cut in a timely fashion either.

12
up

I like this move and at the same time am appalled.

We shouldn't be using the military for domestic issues, basically full stop. Unless there is a serious insurgency or terrorist event (I believe the SAS was on a helicopter within minutes when the terrorist attack in Christchurch was underway). It's a key part of our system that the army is only used for foreign enemies, not domestic.

At the same time, it sounds like the systems have been lax and the people in quarantine have been far too care free. Nothing like some big military dudes standing at the entrance of hotels checking everyone's name off their list, to scare people into compliance. Better if they are armed with some non lethal weapons that look lethal and do not take any s#%t.

11
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The Government clearly thinks they need people that can both follow orders and can set up appropriate procedures to manage the border risk. Appropriate border controls should have been in place long ago.

The Chief Ombudsman is also angry about his staff being exposed and decided that his next review would be of the Covid-19 procedures in place at the border.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121856165/coronaviru...

15
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We waited. They waited. The Fox River rubbish dump clean-up. Nothing was getting done. Eventually they/we called in the Defence Force to clean up the rubbish and plastic. They saved our river. How domestic was that?

19
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I like the idea of using military for domestic issues - particularly appropriate when logistics and enforcement expertise/requirements combine. 3500 people under mandatory quarantine is a higher number than I imagined. And that can only grow in the near-future.

The Police couldn't realistically be expected to man the COVID quarantine operation whilst also doing their normal job properly - and Bloomfield never had the appropriate staff resources for it either particularly, in light of the need to massively upscale contract tracing resources under his remit.

12
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The latest failure had nothing to do with enforcement / policing or massive logistics involved.
Not that many people are granted compassionate exemptions - and they failed to test or properly interview that small number.

Theres already NZDF personnel in the isolation facilities working under the direction of MOH. Whats changing now is that the NZDF will now run the show, which should improve the communication lines between everyone. And not being under prepared for random 150 personnel flights just showing up.

here here, blobbles!

There is a serious insurgency in this country. The insurgency of the government's incompetence. Inability to follow their own procedures. Big problem. Ok if you're protesting at Level 2, suddenly everyone realised why we follow the rules. Elitist Anarchy is reigning in this land

"Elitist Anarchy" - thanks for excellent description of the behaviour and attitude I observe among far too many of my (white, middle class) acquaintances and which causes me to lose respect for them.

16
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At least the tone has changed since yesterday's "she'll be right" regarding this ****up. As much as I hate to agree with TM, I think Clark should have gone. He was already on borrowed time after the mountain biking fiasco, the don't-change-in-mid-stream rationale has weakened, and surely JA is peering over his shoulder continuously at this point anyhow.

He has done no harm and that is always a possiblity with a politician. I reckon he should fall on his sword for the sake of making a strong statement to the public. Then at the next election he gets a promotion.

It's no accident that he's ranked only one above a new Labour list placing on a fast-track to that job;

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300034942/ayesha-verrall-leads-freshfac...

I suspect she'll get Asst Min Health portfolio if Lab are re-elected - and as soon as she gets her feet under the table ... well...

Good point. But if that's the plan, it means he's got a while left, and that there really is no good current alternative.

I think you are right about this .. but can we afford to have a mere seat-warmer as Minister of Health for the next few months ?

It's not up to us though, is it?

What kind of leader tolerates incompetence?

Why do we as a country tolerate incompetence in our 'leaders'?
Yeah option B sucks as well.

Also, I'd like to know what bits we were were assured by Ardern/Bloomfield were fine were actually fine as opposed to spin that was taken as substantive truth (in the absence of facts being raised using parliamentary privilege). Why did it take Michael Woodhouse standing up in Parliament for this to actually the attention it deserved from officials?

Well overdue

15
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about time, the border controls have been a mess from day dot, to many people and departments in the mix
they should have a different hotel for each day of the 14 day cycle instead they are going all over the place and mixing with people 1/2 way through isolation.
the popo were supposed to keep track of people but did not do that, the DHB's were supposed to be do medical checks and tests but have been hit and miss with that,
the only time it has been done up to GOLD standard was right at the beginning with they did it at the base with campervans in a control environment run by people with discpline

"they should have a different hotel for each day of the 14 day cycle"

That in itself is going to result in a LOT of hassle and chances for people from different hotels to interact.

No need to move people between hotels, just have 1 floor (or area) per day of arrival. It's an inefficient use of resources, but we should have a lot of hotel capacity available at this point.

11
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I think the OP was proposing 1 hotel per day of arrival, much the same as your 1 floor.

correct
15 hotels and cycle through if you arrive you go to that hotel that is empty on that day and that days people stay there for the whole 14, the extra hotel is for deep cleaning between new people arriving

Covid 19 vs meth contaminated hotel rooms...which one to pick.

10
up

wow, 2 cases caused more than 300 close contacts. I start to doubt whether they were trying to avoid to be in public when they arrived in New Zealand. Is there something we dont know yet? 300... that's a lot of people.. Did they go to a mall?

People on the flight + people at the hotel

Remember that 320 will take into account the flight and hotel.

It was a sitting within 2 meters of them awhile back. That in itself was a joke.

Flights, hotel in Auckland and the lack of separation at the airport when they arrived from overseas. The definition of close contact has been broadened too.

plus meeting a relative on the way to wellington for a kiss and a cuddle. who wandered around auckland later
it just gets better and better and you could not make this up

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121857737/coronaviru...

Not at all clear that actually happened. Just random hearsay at this point.

Right .. just hearsay . If I were you I would bugger off and not come back here ..

At that point it was. Turns out to be true. What's your point?

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018751173...
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/419270/nz-s-two-covid-19-cases-pair-...

It has turned out to be half true.
What a pity, if Woodhouse was indeed the first person in the Beehive to hear about this that the next person was not someone like Ardern, Bloomfield or someone at the MoH. Listen to him this morning, it's pretty clear he took the political route with it.
This situation is classic Catch 22, leaving options for discretion definitely leaves space for errors to occur, but to have gone straight to military oversight would have been met with a hue and cry far more than what we already have seen.
I think we will get out of this scrape without any further issues, but it should make all the critics wanting open borders and (rightful) consideration for people in grief, STFU.
Hotels and motels are not prisons, hotel and motel staff are not jail keepers, and MoH are always overworked. I don't think anyone is going to this situation lightly again. Our enviable situation has made us pretty damned blasé about the whole thing tbh

And this morning, you just got debunked.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300037214/jacinda-ardern-under-t...

As National leader Todd Muller pressed Ardern on how the mistake had happened and who would be held to account, she tried to turn defence into attack by contrasting that criticism with his desire to open up the border to international students and visitors from Australia.

Yet in doing so, the Prime Minister created a false dichotomy: it is possible to make a case for widening the criteria for those who are allowed on our shores, while also insisting on rigorous health checks and quarantine procedures for those who do enter the country.

When folk were ranting in the media and right-wing blogosphere that it was horrid that folk weren't allowed out of isolation to go to funerals I thought it somewhat fanciful that we might have the resources and processes set up in rapid time to manage it all flawlessly. The idea that we can throw open the borders to many more thousands and have the necessary rigor across all parts of the process already looks similarly fanciful.

15
up

TBH, when I read the story that they drove directly to Wellington and didn't stop anywhere populated and toileted on the side of the road, I hung my head in disbelief. Either they made that up and just told the officials what they wanted to hear out of fear, or the officials are covering it up. It's almost certainly the former, frightening if it's the latter.

Talk about shaken confidence though, the whole country is now concentrated on the movements of two women...

Physical or bowel?

10
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It's Thelma and Louise being chased by the Keystone Cops. LoL

Quiet ironic if its kindness and a hug that makes everything hit the fan again.

Ye, ain't that the truth. Playing at being nice to everyone just doesn't work.

Two women just back from however long overseas, walking into a family bereavement and they didn't have physical contact with anyone, yeah right.

They didn’t but those who work at the hotel and had close contact with them did went to all the malls in Auckland...

There will be more occasions when that will happen, short of stopping every single person entering the country, this is a risk we just have to manage as best we can

I would be upset too if there was an election coming up.

Armies? Elections? What could possibly go wrong?

Oh, nothing, as long as the handouts continue. It's once they Stop that the fun really starts.....Sept 21st and beyond....

Kelvin Davis: "Hold my 440ml Codys"

They're not yet Duterte, Bolsonaro, Trump etc.

the fact the two women from the UK weren’t tested was an “unacceptable failure of the system”.

Agreed. And to keep in perspective there are still more than 20,000 a DAY new cases in the USA ('victory' says Pence today). And Australia still has about ten new cases a day.

We've had 2 cases total in the last three weeks and are willing to learn from mistakes.

It is still a better end of the pandemic curve to be at than nearly any country -

12
up

Sounds like you're sticking up for the habit wearing baby kisser.

Lots of sleeper accounts being used to protect the Princess. Must be an election coming up.

12
up

"It is still a better end of the pandemic curve to be at than nearly any country " .
Being an island at the end of the world helps with that . This bungling govt not so much.

11
up

She has brought in the defence force because she simply cant trust the people put in place. Its abundantly clear the people required to this work felt it completely ok to tell their bosses and indeed the ministers that 2 tests were done and protocols were being followed.

Does Jacinda/Clark/Nash accept their reports are lying to them? Clearly they are held in such high regard that their reports believe they can lie to them.

and who is in charge of making sure the isolation runs smoothly , mike bush the same guy that promised that the popo would visit returnees within three days early on, and then showed up at the committee and said no we dont do that it was to hard we text them to see if they are home if they allow us.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/covid-19/413253/police-didn-t-check-all-recen...
it is time he was replaced and sent off to retire
and now it was six people ran away from a gang funeral
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340820
and the women from wellington met with two friends
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340822
dont get me wrong i dont blame any of these person for taking advantage to get to funerals or drying relatives i blame the people in charge of the system making sure we the 5 million that did the hard yards are kept safe

Why is no one blaming these individuals? They have clearly done things they know they shouldn't have and you stated it in your comments;

"six people ran away from a gang funeral"
"the women from wellington met with two friends"

With blatant flagrance of earlier self isolation regime and now this fiasco it seems the only reliable solution is to remove all personal responsibility and run these places like prisons. I feel for those that can't attend funerals and such like but like a lot of things in life it is the 5% of people that wreck it for everyone else.

the same reason we have laws, not because of the 95% that do the right thing but the 5% that don't
that 5% will always look for an option out, or do something they are not supposed to, or just plan ignore them

11
up

Poor old Ashley looks like he's going to be the fall guy when things go wrong, no sign of JA when the news is bad.

13
up

No way. JA knows what a massive step-up he had to coordinate. No government was properly prepared for this - aside from those who had had to manage SARS previously. I can't believe AB and JA have pulled off what they did - and surely most of that operational kudos has to go to the good Dr. B.

The best parts of the response have been non MoH.
The DHBs all seem to have lives of their own.

Seems MoH Wellington, were required to report several key metrics, set policy in conjunction with non MoH groups.

Thank god aged care facilities out of MoH grasp and closed early. Remember how roughly GPs were treated & funded, and the pharmacists were all but forgotten.

MoH have fail marks for:
PPE procurement and inventory.
Flu vaccine stores & inventory
Trace & trace system & workflow
Tracing APP.
Resource capacity reporting.
Early, disease definition.

https://youtu.be/7JLsjz2xEdI
Review of Asia economies response.

https://covidtracker.bsg.ox.ac.uk/
Government response tracker.

Your bar for 'good' performance is set extremely low. Govt had effectively limitless money and ability to mobilise hundreds of thousands of employees and yet screwed around getting border controls in place for 3-4weeks after lockdown, and nearly 3 months after they knew about the problem. What they achieved comes no where near being worthy of a pass mark.

Were the 2 women who were allowed in NZ citizens ???? I doubt it and now they have been caught out lying to NZ. Can we please get them properly interviewed and deported at the earliest practically if they have lied. They have exposed all of NZ to this virus again. Hugged and kissed a helper who gave them directions!!!!!! I thought they didnt stop. Naive trusting politicians and doctors. No more compassionate visas please.

Yes, they are citizens. And despite the rumour-mongering to the contrary, I'm not aware of any evidence of the directions story.

Should you be, if it is true?

Well now we know!

And the story changes now. Why didnt these model citizens say tell the truth in the first place. I am sure there is other stuff they lying about. Now because of this rest of NZ could get Home Detention again. Selfish B.......

There needs to be prosecutions for lies like as we have missed the contact tracing and isolation window.

Ministry of Health responds to National's claims Covid-19 positive pair gave helps a 'kiss and cuddle' - NZ Herald
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340822

I am prepared to put money on us not going back into lockdown any worse than level 2, and that is a very remote chance. Get your app, keep track of your movements where other people are involved, be a part of the solution.
There was no kiss and cuddle btw

20
up

TOTAL INCOMPETENCE - NZ IS A COVID 19 BASKETCASE STILL WAITING TO HAPPEN

Apart from the incompetence of letting the 2 women travel without being tested
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340651

NZ is still a covid19 basket case waiting to happen.

1) Covid-19 tests at the border are not compulsory
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340511

2) Masks on planes entering NZ are not mandatory
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/121854013/air-nz-maintains-o...
and why they are absolutely necessary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Em0FSsI_VU

3) Masks are not mandatory for airport staff
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340446

4) People in quarantine facilities are not completely isolated from other quests
https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/121686690/guests-stunned-to-find-t...

5) People allowed out of quarantine were allowed to go awol
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121857566/coronaviru...

6) International aircrew are not tested for covid19
https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/ministry_of_heal...
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/121862951/no-quarantine-rule...
"At the time, Ardern said international cabin crew could not realistically isolate for two weeks after every flight."- Rubbish, there are plenty of unemployed pilots and aircrew.

7) Border controls at seaports are lax & all protocols across all borders need audit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pY6d7gNzlY&t=27s

8) People dont have to isolate until they get test results
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340830

9) The modellers think we could have a transtasman bubble without elimination (This is rubbish. The models assume perfection in testing, catching all covid cases, and peoples behaviour). A transtasman bubble is only possible with an instant covid-19 test that is 100% reliable (they are coming) if Aussie doesnt reach full elimination.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/121855985/safe-transtasman-bubble-po...

would still rather live here than be a kiwi overseas.

Yes, assuming NZ keeps covid19 out, I'd much rather be in NZ.
Going overseas opens your eyes and provides many experiences, but also makes you appreciate just how damn good NZ is.

I know quite a few Kiwi's that manged to high tail it back to little NZ when it became obvious that covid-19 was going global. They're very glad to be back and pleased that we're at least trying to keep this virus out!

Well I'm a kiwi overseas and I perceive the NZ response as inappropriate, unsustainable, damaging to the economy, and totally over the top.

I think the oversight is most likely symptomatic of overstretched civilian staff. Good to see our 'Armed Forces' being deployed, they will be far more effective in deploying against microbes than they ever would be in a real battle, hopefully casualties will be acceptably low....on both sides. I wonder if they will arrive in any of the couple of hundred unused LAVS they have sitting gathering cobwebs....

This is the Emu War all over again, isn't it

Agree military is the way to go, as they can concentrate on this one job. Agree we have been working with overworked health staff, and suggest motels/hotels are not jails and their workers are not jailers. The system relied heavily on trust, it's been demonstrated it cannot.
I just hope the critics shut up when this is done, and people don't try taking lawsuits against the govt over curtailing of freedoms etc.
This has very much been a damned if you, damned if you don't situation.

This has been the obvious move from the start - so naturally govt failed to do it. Military specialize in people movement, quartering and general logistics, they train to react and scale activities fast, and have systems that work for getting stuff done on a deadline. This Govt is crap useless at organizing pretty much anything (as they've proved again and again), so why not bring in experts that are already on govt payroll from the outset?

I can hear the hue and cry over bringing in an "oppressive" military, had it been done at the outset.

Indeed...imagine the cries of "communism!" and "fascism!" alternatively exiting the same gaping pie holes had the military been deployed visibly earlier on. There were plenty of these cries as it was.

NZDF has been managing these isolation motels since the beginning of Level 4 - it's only just made the news.

A pity, I (and probably many others) would have been happier to have known that it was in (mostly) competent hands.

22
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A sparsely-populated, isolated, yet rich country with essentially 1 point of entry (Auckland Airport) and months to prepare, somehow ended up having >1500 cases and numerous local clusters, and decided to lock down its own entire population (25 March) BEFORE mandatory quarantine of international travellers (10 April).

Yet we hail our political and techno leaders both national heroes. And her party polled at 59% best ever in history, despite its Health Minister flouting his own lockdown rules, TWICE!

13
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Since day one of lockdown El Presidante and Bloomfield have told blatant lies about testing and quarantine. Our dopey media have given them a free ride instead of asking hard questions. The chickens have come home to roost!

Please detail these lies, with proof they are lies....

Oldbloke1, you need to get someone to pop that opaque "bubble" you must be living in! By the comments you make I would not be surprised if you work in the PM's office (Ministry of Propaganda).

I see - handwaving and personal comments, but no proof of assertions - not that I expected you to provide any.

The Aussies must be lauging their asses off, aye ?

15
up

Not in Sydney and Melbourne. They're still closing schools due to new cases.

A big SNAFU this. Not putting NZ in a good light. The whole testing on arrival, testing in isolation, managed quarantine thingy seems to be organised and run on a 'fly by the seat of the pants' manner. Better someone in the higher lever take charge of this and streamline it quicly, as borders are going to be opened more widely soon. AirNZ is biting at the chaff to fly, I think they have China in their sights. Risky Much ?

There goes the expectation that NZ would be a safe destination.

you Government-bashers miss a vital point (mush as economists and their adherents miss the truth).

This would have been a case of someone being 'kind'. Kindness is what Health people tend to do; it's the type who work there.

But it's not what the military are famed for.

They're there to clean up everyone else's mess

Kindness is no substitute for accountability.

I’m not sure this Government knows the word. They certainly don’t apply it to failed ministers.

10
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The women were given specific instructions to follow as the terms of there early release. Once they tested positive the convenient assumption was made that they had followed those instructions to the letter. I doubt they have been asked any specific questions about their journey or their movements since. Because no one wants the answers to those questions in the public domain. The MOH and government have worked side by side on message management from the beginning. Even drawing in a faithful party member with appropriate medical credentials when required to add mild criticism and credibility. The MSM could not investigate their way out of a wet paper bag.

16
up

it's a fairly basic concept - the airport and hotels should be under some sort of military control and be treated like an - errr - Quarantine Zone

barbed wire and big signs saying "Quarantine Zone - Keep Out"- guard houses and security gates - only one way in one way out

isolated in flight groups or day groups + staff on 14 day tours of duty too

12
up

Agreed. Muller's in a spot of bother too, eh?

As I recall, he wanted the borders opened up, and faster.

Which shows that he, like the Govt and most folk, don't understand what real wealth is.

Opening the borders is fine and sensible so long as you have properly enforced 14 day quarrantines and testing. Efforts to conflate open borders with no quarrantine and pretend National is asking for that is just a transparently stupid invention of the labour spin machine, gaslighting, trotted out by their tribe is a sad attempt to deflect from their team's failure.

watch from 4.28 after aussie he wants to open with china, why pick china, why not Taiwan, south korea, japan, singapore if we are talking trade and safe countries to do business with?
have his bosses told him make sure you open to us next
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/05/todd-muller-calls-for-in...

That's dated 26th May.

In todays news....
The new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing grew to 106 cases Tuesday, with 29 communities in the sprawling Chinese capital back on lockdown. Health officials confirmed another 27 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a smaller increase than in previous days but still a worrying resurgence after Beijing enjoyed almost two months without a single new infection.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/china-coronavirus-...

10
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Hard to be nice to everyone and get the job done without ruffling feathers.... well impossible actually.
Tough quarantine like you mentioned is what is needed not airy fairy being nice. This is not tidily winks, happy clappy time.

I'm afraid the use of military would not have been accepted in many quarters without something like this happening to demonstrate what could happen in the virus got in again. I believe this will turn out to be more of a help than a hindrance, there will be no outbreak, we will not be going back into lockdown, but the haters will have to stop the criticizing, harping and demanding that has gone on from day one.
Catch 22 this

Australia, has and does for quarantine.

What kind of Idiot made up the test rule on day 3 of quarantine.?
When you enter a quarantine zone you should be tested right then and there, what is the waiting for? it only allows more spreading surely.

And if it takes 2 days to get an answer then absolute isolation (by yourself in a locked room) until then is mandatory, surely.?
Otherwise it is just a complete waste of time.
Bring on the Military to set some standards and formality around this this, no point going hard and early with wet paper bag to hold it in.

It'll be to allow for the virus incubation time, and it increases the likelihood of picking up someone who is infected but asymptomatic at the time of entering quarantine. It's actually smarter than testing on arrival if people have no symptoms. Someone with a medical background was probably the 'idiot' who chose it.

I assume they would immediately swab any symptomatic arrivals.

the three day rule is because that is when they are checked, every three days, temp and questioned, they are not checked daily at all, so they are temp checked at the border then tested on the next three day check and retested on the fourth three daily check.
at the border if they show signs then they are tested and taken to a probable covid hotel, the PM said the name once i think that was a slip of the tongue.

The majority of the comments on this thread are repeating fake news , or so full of hyperbole as to be worthless as being revealed today as the facts come out.
Some are competed with Woodhouse for the award for BS of the day.

Hyperbole
n. A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.
n. In rhetoric, an obvious exaggeration; an extravagant statement or assertion not intended to be understood literally.
n. Synonyms See exaggeration.

A bit early to be calling BS on Woodhouse's damning allegations. Clark and co are scrambling to confirm or deny. If true they will confirm this is an even bigger cluster F than is already the case.

I doubt they are scrambling to do anything other than "protect the privacy" of the 2 sisters .
Every effort will be made not to ask them further questions and to make sure no one else gets the opportunity to ask them.

HT to sharetrader.
First details of the Auckland friend and source of the car.
Thing is, this person appears to have had interaction with Ministry of Health.
And yet Minister of Health knows nothing.....
PM, knows nothing.....

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340830

And in Stuff...
https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121857737/coronavirus-...

The Ministry of Health has confirmed two women diagnosed with Covid-19 after leaving a managed isolation facility in Auckland did not drive non-stop to Wellington.

Health officials had insisted they did, but Stuff revealed the pair got lost, stopped and met someone.

“Upon leaving the Novotel in a private vehicle provided by friends, the women got lost on the Auckland motorway system.

"On realising this they phoned the same friends who supplied the vehicle, who met and guided them to the correct motorway, so they could go in the right direction. As part of this the pair were in limited physical contact with the two friends for approximately five minutes.”

And

In addition, health authorities had been informed of instances where friends have made contactless deliveries of food or care packages to the women while they have been in self-isolation in recent days.

The packages were contactless deliveries and the friends who had delivered the packages had taken all appropriate precautions to maintain physical distance, the statement said.

And best if all Ash goes under the bus......

Clark said that was an ongoing inquiry.

He later confirmed to media that he did not know how many people may had left self- isolation and were not tested.

He avoided questions about taking accountability and his resignation.

"Ministers were of the understanding that people were being tested before they left... this is unacceptable what happened here."

He said Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield had owned this failing and was getting on with fixing it.

Question: Can we take down David Clark's statue now, because this looks like history we'd best forget about.....

"the women got lost"

Rubbish

The women made a pre-arranged meeting with the friends that gave them the car and both the women and their friends lied about the arrangement.

Both parties should be locked up

RNZ not trying that hard....

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/419252/ministry-confirms-women-with-...

The National Party's health spokesperson, Michael Woodhouse, told Parliament this afternoon that the pair had hugged and kissed someone on their travels.

That was after Dr Ashley Bloomfield said they had no contact with anyone.

The ministry didn't confirm if they hugged or kissed their friend, and said it received the update this afternoon.

Eh, RNZ are about the most partisan media in NZ, expect them to minimize anything that might damage their tribe.

Now TV One is a little more enthusiastic, finding another quarantine case where health officials are arranging birthday parties.

1 NEWS has discovered that New Zealand's latest Covid-19 cases are far from the only people who've been let out of isolation before receiving a negative Covid-19 test result.

As well, a birthday party for a young girl that was arranged between those in isolation who should not be mingling.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/health-official-involved-in-...

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/auckland-gym-closes-after-on...

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/ministry-health-confirms-two...

Big contrast to RNZ.

Here is One news, with a RNZ item. Bringing in Mike Bush..

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/women-tested-positive-covid-...

Speaking on behalf of the Government today, former police commissioner Mike Bush - who is responsible for the all isolation facilities - told Checkpoint that he was aware of Woodhouse's claim.

The Prime Minister, Health Minister and the Director-General of Health all declined to be interviewed on Checkpoint tonight. Bush said there was shared accountability of what happened in this case......

"I'm certainly putting up my hand to be here and talk to this, because it's important that New Zealanders have assurance this is being managed properly.

This is turning into a missing person's case too!

MOH have just put out a press release confirming Woodhouse's story. Any hope of an apology or admission of error from you?

PR ex Scoop
https://m.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2006/S00183/update-on-journey-between-au...

It is not uncommon for information and details to evolve, including details being missed during case interviews and contact tracing where there is heightened emotion, intense grief and stress...

Like MoH, sort of making it worse, in a couple of ways...

More questions raised than answered in all of this. Why aren't tests required before people even enter the country, let alone leave quarantine in NZ? If you know for certain someone has the virus surely you would manage their transit into and through quarantine differently (unless we are assuming everyone coming into the country and moving into quarantine is infected...?). I think the Government has been doing a great job overall but this is a fail and it feels like it is a system problem. On that basis I think the PM shd sack the Minister. A sacking combined with rolling in NZDF shows she has a firm hand on the tiller and allows us to move on (plus saves his inevitable sacking if these two cases bubble into other cases).

What is the sanctity of the 14 days isoloation ? Does the virus know that after 14 days it is not supposed to bite ?
Just asking..

I think it has been pretty firmly established that symptoms appear within 14 days or not at all (excepting possibly some far end tail of the probability curve cases).

14 days seems to have been the best guess back in Feb. With 8million more cases since then it is surprising the figure has not been revised to say 14 days or 16 days - surprising they got it right first time and it is an exact number of weeks.

Good ole Winnie will be dodging the bullet, he will be keeping quiet on an Aust/NZ bubble now!

I guess the army is better equipped to oversee this quarantine process. I can imagine if it was JK, this will be contracted out to some capital venture investment services to do the same job and we would have to pay millions and millions for doing the same job.

Short memory. The army was used by Key in CHCH for the red zone border control. They were very successful. I had multiple encounters with Army zone control personnel down there and their young men and women were unfailingly polite but firm and diligent in carrying out their duties.

How about granting exceptions for tourists / visitors who have COVID19 antibodies!

this story gets worse and worse lucky the gym trainer is more sensible than the MOH
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340830
Minister of health adviced me that can continue with my normal activities until I'll hear back the results of our member," the post says.
Alkin told The Herald she decided to go into self-isolation, despite being told by Ministry of Health officials that she did not have to.
"Imagine if my client is positive and I am positive, and then in the few days until the results come back, there could be hundreds of people involved.

National's tactic of leaving Ardern alone and focusing on the muppets looks like it is paying off already.

Our livelihood has been put in danger by a few morons. I dislike draconian rules but when we live amongst so many morons perhaps we need them.
Really annoyed about this, and just sloppy from the officials.

Jacinda said it was not the fault of the minister or herself, but it is really. People are idiots, and this is not the first time by any means this has happened. The rules need to be simple, comprehensive, and with no exceptions.
Forget about whether they have symptoms, everyone should be in strict quarantine for 2 weeks no exceptions under any circumstance (except maybe a serious health issue). They should be confined to their room 100% of the time.
We had strict uncompassionate rules during lockdown, why are we being so nice to people that don't even live here?

But Cinders repeatedly assured us NZs C19 testing and tracking regime was 'gold standard'. Clearly just waffle.

"We should all enjoy alert level 1 while we can because clearly we have a slack system. What we have learned in the last 24 hours about the quarantine and isolation arrangements in Auckland and Christchurch is just mind-boggling. I just cannot believe that so many people have been able to flout the very necessary precautions."

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/419297/covid-19-prevention-at-border...

Things are getting weird...

MoH were told no. Don't come, do not bring people in quarantine, but MoH turn up anyway with quarantine breakers.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/121858074/coronavirus-isolated-travellers...

The Ministry of Health is managing about 3400 arrivals and this week expanded quarantine to Christchurch with 93 people under isolation in the Commodore Airport Hotel.

Steve Parkyn, chief executive of funeral directors Lamb and Hayward, said "nine or 10" of those people were let out of quarantine early to attend one of the company's funerals on Tuesday.

Parkyn said after being contacted by health authorities he refused to allow the isolated travellers from the Commodore Hotel to attend the service, but they joined about 150 other mourners at the burial, accompanied by a health official.

"We asked for information, and whether the people had been tested, but they couldn't tell us anything.

Whose side is who on?

So 10 people in isolation all want to attend the same funeral. It can't be random chance that this group of people just happened to be in CHCH when a mutual family member or associate died, they must have travelled there specifically for the funeral. If so they would have received prior MOH approval to travel to NZ for this express purpose. So not the 'oops, slipped through the cracks' scenario as is being portrayed, it was a considered decision made in advance; a government middle finger to you NZ residents denied the same opportunity to farewell loved ones.

An election’s never won until it is. I think all bets are off now. What mind blowing incompetence. Would it not be in the public interest to name these women and identify their car so anyone who might have come into contact with them would know? Either Clark or Bloomfield should go, whichever one oversaw quarantine arrangements. Talk about hero to zero.

If the COVID spreads then Labour just lost the election. Absolute idiots. I just can't fathom the stupidity on display here, and as much as I like Jacinda the stupidity has come from the top. Every single person entering the country should be in very strict quarantine no exceptions, it is just so obvious. You don't need to be a health expert to understand what needs to be done, Jacinda should have been all over it and she wasn't.
Cost isn't even a factor because the cost of failure is so much higher.
Even if it doesn't spread the election will now be a lot closer.

Any chance they were a National plant? Would they stoop that low?

I can't tell if this is sarcastic or not

I'm not sure if its sarcastic myself!
They did seem to know all the details before the health minister supposedly knew. And it was their only chance of winning the election.
Gotta love a good conspiracy theory.

Textor Crosby supplied the car, bagman Mathew Hooten tampered with the car GPS system to put them off track, Woodhouse followed them as 'rescuer' and it was he who did the hugging and kissing.

I think using Clark as a benchmark for competence answers the question for you. Everybody knew before Clark.

Can you blame him though given Ardern from the start pushed herself centerstage, anointing herself as the leader of a 5M team and being 'that' manager most of us have met who when there is an ego boost opportunity suddenly wants to be hands on in roles they are ill equipped for.

And it just gets worse:
"Koa sent an email to whanau last night after being advised that the flight attendant on the flight which brought the women over had been to Rotorua and spent time with whanau."
Do we not even isolate flight attendants? What the hell is going on?

"What the hell is going on?"
- it is called "Labour in charge"

We have a PM with little idea of how to build and lead successful teams. Anyone from a business senior management background knows that you don't undermine the key managers you rely on to deliver good operational outcomes. From the start her spotlight hogging agenda saw health minister Clark not only sidelined but further publicly humiliated when she elevated a technocrat to almost ministerial status. No wonder Clark is reported as disengaged and vague on details. This ongoing C19 shambles comes as no surprise; it is an almost inevitable outcome of the confused lines of accountability that Ardern created. The humiliation of being forced to fall back on the army graphically demonstrates the consequences of her inexperience.

Yeah Clark got shafted when Adern decided she wanted to hog the limelight. I am sure he's been busier than usual behind the scenes doing all the MOH operational stuff but now Labour and their journalistic toadies are doing hatchet jobs on him and lining him up for replacement by a doctor they have parachuted onto the list as quid quo pro fro writing a fawning report on their performance while pretending to be an independent reviewer. There is a lot of rotten politics on display here.

Would be reckless to put into a health ministers role someone so inexperienced at senior exec administration. Hopefully even this motley lot wouldn't be dumb enough to do it. Clarks survival so far in the face of incompetence is largely because the Col is so lacking in alternatives.
Contrasting the debacle caused by Ardern undermining Clark is the successful corrections C19 strategy under another inadequate minister. The glamour girl saw no personal brand enhancement opportunities in meddling with the corrections structure with the result there was not the same confusion and lack of buy in further down the chain.

Isnt she doing well, well down the list now....
Saul Alinsky”s Doctrine: 8 steps to topple a nation and create a socialist state

1) Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people

2) Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).

6) Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

8) Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

So this government have now mismanaged COVID disease control, tried to manage the message by telling us half truths or lies, and then brought in the military to try and "improve" the situation. Trump would be proud

Oh and this happened yesterday. Auditor Generals Report into PPE released.
The Ministry of Health had no idea how much personal protective equipment (PPE) it had, how much it needed, what had expired and how it should be distributed, says a damning report.
The Auditor-General also slammed Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield's "mixed messages" during a press conference.

More evidence of message manipulation. They would say it was to calm the masses. But really it was about making the government and MOH look good.

Health minister Bloomfield is assuring us that while there was hugging, well sort of arm around shoulder type of thing so it seems, chaste leaning in easel style apparently, of debauched body contact there was none. But definitely NO kissing. Ashley (Ashes to his friends) wouldn't countenance that for a moment. There was not even a platonic lip to cheek brush and certainly not that weird continental multi cheek carry on. He knows this because the two wayward girls involved told him so. Settles it then eh.

I'M LIVID - BLOOMFIELD NEEDS TO BE SACKED

"Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield held a press conference in Wellington.
He announced that all passengers on flights from Australia and New Zealand will now be required to wear masks as an additional precaution."
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340998

I'm sorry - there are are no covid cases in the USA are there, nor China, are there.
Stop pussyfooting around.

a) NZ needs to require masks on all international flights
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Em0FSsI_VU&t=2s

b) NZ needs to require passengers to have had an covid19 test before the fly to NZ. (Some countries are already mandating the requirement to have a local covid19 test before flying out of that country.) NZ needs to do it for arriving passengers.

c) NZ needs to maintain the 14 day quarantine for everyone inbound until such time there is an instant covd19 viral test that is 100% effective.

d) Quarantine hotels need to be separate.

Its absurd that NZ now has to contract trace every other person coming in on a flight with someone that has covid19. The tracing is probably only 80% effective - i.e. no one is GPS tracked.

The cost is simply too high for NZ to have to lockdown again. Another 20bn+ in direct government spending, unemployment would skyrocket - there are enough companies that wont even survive now let alone another lockdown & then there is the ongoing cost of the delay in economic recovery - i.e. the time & costs for the extra unemployed to get back into productive society. Then there are all the other indirect social and wellbeing costs.

And now, it appears that a National party MP lobbied to have the women released for their journey.

has he lobbied for their release without a proper interview and a test ? If not the mere fact that he did is quite irrelevant ...