MEDIA WATCH: John Campbell grills an incredibly uncomfortable David Clark



Covid 19 coronavirus lockdown: Health Minister David Clark demoted after driving 20km to beach, breaking lockdown rules

Health Minister David Clark has been demoted after driving his family 20km to a beach to go for a walk in the first weekend of the lockdown – a breach that the Prime Minister says he would normally be sacked for.

“At a time when we are asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices I’ve let the team down. I’ve been an idiot,” Clark said in a statement this morning.

Clark, who offered his resignation, sounded forlorn as he started a round of media calls this morning, saying he felt “like a complete dick to be honest”.

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Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking this morning, Clark said he “wasn’t thinking” when he drove to the beach with his family.

…if David thought Jacinda was pissed last night when she found out, it was nothing compared to the grilling an incredibly uncomfortable David Clark had to face from a very, very, very, very frustrated John Campbell this morning on TVNZ Breakfast.

John repeatedly demanded to know what on earth was the Minister thinking.

Clearly the Minister wasn’t thinking.

Again, I cut David some slack because being the Minister of Health during pandemic is the most difficult job in the world, but repeatedly breaching the rules is jaw droppingly dumb.

He had to be reprimanded.

When John Campbell is personally disappointed in you, it’s the worst thing in the world.

I’d prefer low level amputation than have to go through what he righteously did to David Clark this morning.



  1. Yes, Clark stuffed up.

    There is another person in the govt who is taking a 1,000 ++ klm jaunt every week, – entirely unnecessary for anything at all that he wants or needs to do.

    And that’s okay. According to Tova.

    I don’t think so. It’s giving the finger to every single essential worker in NZ, to everyone who is confined to their homes, to everyone in AO/ NZ who is concerned about Covid-19.

    Yet it is all a-ok??? Really???

    • So Tova thinks Bridges travelling 1000km unnecessarily is okay?
      I demand Tova resigns immediately!

  2. If David Clark is really on the ball now, pleas can he as Health Minister require that each and every scheduled surgeries are tested for Covid-19 prior to surgery!

    Now is not the time that we need large numbers of hospital staff put into isolation due to the omission of that test.

    Is he awake and onto it? This is needed now. RNZ Surgery Patient Later Tested Positive

    • Re: scheduled surgeries all being tested – apologies for bad grammar – posted too fast, but I hope Clark wakes up to this – as well as every hospital. Again, now is NOT the time to be playing roulette with our invaluable hospital staff!!!

  3. At the end of this I hope he resigns, he resigns just as Nick Smith did trying to influence his friend and National party activist Bronwyn Pullar’s ACC claim when Smith was ACC minister, like Judith Collins resigned when Collins had been gunning for SFO CE Adam Feeley and been involved in dirty politics with her friend Cameron Slater, like Gerry Brownlee should resign for his role in barging through Christchurch airport for breahing security protocol as Transport Minister. As Clark has done, Brownlee offered his resignation but John Key rejected it just as Jacinda has rejected Clark’s.

    All National ministers misdemeanours were trying to exert a degree of undue influence, Clark’ was for being an idiot.

  4. Talking about stupid. Who would be stupid enough to drive over 500k to attend a ‘virtual’ Meeting?

    POLITICS COVID-19 6 Apr 2020
    Bridges defends Wellington to Tauranga commute

    1:23 pm on 6 April 2020

    The opposition leader is defending his decision to commute between Wellington and his home in Tauranga during the Covid-19 lockdown.

    How many times did Simon Bridges stop for gas?
    How many times did he have to visit a pubic toilet?

    How many people did he meet on the way?
    Did he buy coffee along the way at a gas station?

    And all that, to attend a virtual meeting on Zoom, that he could have done from home?

    Does Simon Bridges even know how to turn on a computer and use Zoom without the help of a parliamentary aide?
    I have heard of being stupid, but this takes the cake.
    This guy is a complete and total dunderhead.
    The country dodged a bullet not having him in charge.

    • to drive over 500k

      A thousand Klm round trip every week. 1,000 klms between regions. Exposing others. Risking accidents.

      What a freaking sick joke!

    • So, the implication is that Simon Bridges, travels 1000km, because there are NO High-speed, reliable, internet capable connections in Tauranga? That’s an unmitigated disgrace.

      Someone needs to take the blame, or resign. Let me think….if Taurange is involved, then Winston Peters, who was the Minister for Tauranga, must have caused this Bermuda Triangle of Internet in Tauranga …… logically, surely, we have to blame the local MP for this. That would be the fairest thing to do in this situation.

      Hmmm very interesting. I looked up on my dial-up connection 2 days ago and it has taken this long to finish this post. National’s Simon Bridges, won the 2008 election, 12 years ago. “Peters established New Zealand First and retained the Tauranga electorate. He continued to represent Tauranga until he was defeated in the 2005 election by National’s Bob Clarkson.” (15 years ago)

      15 years that National have held Tauranga and they don’t have a decent internet connection for a Zoom meeting to Wellington.

      So, some questions for Tova….Not sure whether Tova found this out or not, but:

      Is there a driver of Simon’s limo that drives where Simon says?
      Or does Simon drive himself?
      Who is paying for the ministerial travel?
      If Tauranga cannot provide reliable internet access at Simon’s home, or his electorate offices, shouldn’t Simon/National Party be getting a rebate from their internet provider?
      Should this internet rebate go to Simon, or to the New Zealand taxpayer
      (Follow up question: Tova: Ask Jordan Williams who he thinks should get the rebate?)
      Has Simon’s NAVMAN been accessed to see if he (or his driver) has been keeping to the speed limit on his official parliamentary business between Tauranga and Wellington and back.

      We can’t have double standards can we? David Clark was reprimanded 5 times by the PM and 6 times by John Campbell and pilloried for a 40km return journey on family business. Helen Clark lost an election based on her trip from Waimate to Christchurch as part of her official parliamentary business?

      The National Party needs to ask someone like Judith Collins to threaten to crush some bodies and get some decent internet for Tauranga. It’s the least Judith can do to protect her leader.

      After all he is travelling through plague-ravaged lands between Tauranga and Wellington, putting his and other lives at risk to do parliamentary duties on behalf of his parliamentary colleagues and the New Zealand voters.

      Diane says “Simon, get on the Internet highway, instead of State Highway 1!”

  5. So here’s a Minister who has probably been working 18 hour days for the past few months, probably working 6 or 7 day weeks, and finally gets some time at home with his young family, and decides to enjoy their company and also try to keep/get fit with a bike-ride in an area he is very familiar with.
    But let’s not give a sucker an even break! Let’s dob him in. Let’s make this story of a minor misdemeanor in Dunedin headline news when the world around us is falling apart. To hell with any perspective. Let’s crucify the guy – how timely!
    OK, yes, he’s a “self-confessed embarrassed idiot”. Like none of us would ever admit to being or doing similar, huh?
    Bert’s listed a few such idiots from the previous government. Add to that their current leader motoring (it looks like he was chauffered) from Tauranga to Wellington during lockdown because his Skype wasn’t clear enough. Really? Yet another idiot!
    Idiots are everywhere people!
    ‘Let him who is without idiocy throw the first stone!’

  6. Yes Martyn;

    I saw some irony here, watching this man grovelling, as we advised this man in a letter to him on 28th January to be “cautious” about dismissing the ‘corona virus’ dangers we were exposed to then, that he had not even signalled as a ‘pandemic’ at that time, by the ‘compromised WHO’ (World health Organisation.) as the Chinese do have high positions inside that organisation sadly.

    Here (below) was our warning sent to David Clark then in January, and we were shocked that we never got any response from him then!!!!!!

    So he needs to be dismissed, as he has let the whole NZ community down badly, as he could have acted back then in late January 2020 decisively then.

    I myself got very sick in early January with a deep lung infection, and called the Ministry of Health helpline about it and requested to get tested for this virus as a precaution, – but was refused a test then!!!!!!!

    Here was our (yet to be responded) letter to David Clark back in January 20th 2020.
    CEAC calls for Ministry of Health to be cautious
    Monday, 20 January 2020, 2:31 am
    Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
    Monday 20th January 2020
    “CEAC calls for Ministry of Health to be cautious of mystery viral pneumonia spreading from China.”

    CEAC calls for Ministry of Health to be “cautious” of mystery viral pneumonia spreading from China, of a new ‘coronavirus’ that’s in the same family as SARS, MERS and the common cold, health officials said Friday; –


    Since the US (CDC) “Center for Disease Control” has just placed Three airports in the United States under screening for this new global virus.
    According to the CDC they will screen passengers arriving from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of an outbreak of a new coronavirus that’s in the same family as SARS, MERS and the common cold, health officials said Friday.
    Quote; (1)
    US authorities have said they would start screening at three airports to detect travellers arriving via direct or connecting flights from Wuhan who may have symptoms of the new virus.
    In Asia, authorities in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have stepped up monitoring of passengers from Wuhan at airports. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines say they have strengthened screening at all points of entry in response to the outbreak, as well.
    Japan screens all incoming travellers for high temperatures and started displaying notices at airports around the country asking passengers to come forward if they have travelled to Wuhan and have become sick.

    A report published by the London Imperial College’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis asserted there are likely “substantially more cases” of the new coronavirus than the 45 currently announced by Wuhan authorities.
    A summary of the report on the centre’s website says its baseline scenario estimates that there would be 1723 cases showing onset of related symptoms by 12 January. The full report was not available, however.

    • NZ is a large transit point for Chinese visitors and immigrants,
    • So we are already effectively in harm’s way.
    • So we support the Otago University Health Department calling for NZ Ministry of Health to be wary of danger to the new virus that could threaten the health of NZ citizens as stated I n the report below.


  7. Watching that interview even David Clark clearly realises he should have been sacked. The Prime Minister should have obliged him. This lack of decisive action will probably come back to haunt her.

    • PS I hate Campbells style but have to admit that he unctuously, lovingly, flayed Clark alive today. It was hard to watch

  8. OK he was a very foolish politician – a dismal trade where appearances are everything.

    But I won’t pile in and attack or mock him like most have because I think there is a deeper truth here:

    Did he compromise his isolation? No. He remained isolated from others.
    Did he compromise the health & safety of others? No. Nobody else was involved.

    So what this tells is is that some aspects of the rules are pure bullsh*t and need sorting out. I am predicting that unless the government makes some changes pretty quickly, they will exhaust the patience of the population and there will be a backlash.

    • I am also predicting that with such swift movement and justification we will come out of this better than many other countries. This will create an increase in votes for Labour.
      I think what takes place is that a dislike for anything Labour gets in the way of critical thinking. Well over 250 other idiots broke lockdown rules, should they all resign, Crusaders included?
      People looking for perfection during this virus are flawed and hindsight as they say is a wonderful thing.

  9. ” This lack of decisive action will probably come back to haunt her ”

    Clark has buggered his career and just because she has not dismissed him doesn’t mean he won’t will be dealt with.

    His career has suffered a fatal blow.

    Unlike that shyster Key she has a moral compass and being a Labour PM she does not have the luxury of MSM compliance in accepting idiotic or corrupt behaviour from her ministers not that she ever would !!!

    If Bridges wasn’t so arrogant he would be offering his resignation too his caucus ( board of directors ) for knowling endangering the public and others with his drive too Wellington.

    • Yawn. Bridges is running the only arm of state that is keeping a monitoring check on a government with vast powers. He’s part of an absolutely essential service. The Epidemic Response Committee meetings are up on the net and are actually fascinating viewing. He’s doing a great job and not, that I’ve seen, noticeably politicising them.

      • You see things differently. However as you say, they are on the net too see. So use the net and dont drive thousands of km to use the net. Clark only drove 20 km and people still want him sacked, which I may add ,IS political.

        • Jacinda wants to sack him dude… is that political? Certainly. In that he’s a national joke and his corpse is chained to her ankle.

          I’m happy to see him remain… 🙂

          • “I’m happy to see him remain”
            As am I, because when we shortly come out of lockdown, people will see the great work he has done during the pandemic as health minister, not the “I went for a walk on the beach” person.

  10. It certainly wasn’t the John Campbell I signed petitions for, when John Key knee-capped Campbell Live, or certainly not worthy of his sympathetic Breakfast fellow co-presenters, who have shed tears during news items in the last few months. This time, it was the viewers shedding tears. Campbell had lowered his standards to be more like Duncan Garner, on the other channel. Not quite the Fox-like-froth of Tucker Carlson; the National-lite-faux-neoliberal-taxpayer-outraged, bushy-eyebrowed, Jordan Williams, or even the rabid Graham Ledger, Trumpeteer of OAN (Online American News Network. See John Oliver’s Media News ( . It was as if TV3’s questions for David Clark, were e-mailed to Campbell’s TV1 teleprompter and earpiece, in some sort of electronic COVID-19 brain-fart. I felt as equally bad looking up David Clark’s semi-neutered nostrils, in some heroin-induced cameraman homage to nostrils, as I did looking at the back of John Campbell’s head between his knees, as he slap-headed and uttered “What were you thinking? Certianly one weird interview, but one sure sign, that there’s an election this year and there are dark forces writing scripts, and earpiece questions in the media. Or just COVID-or brain-fart conspiracy theory?

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