Sack Him, Jacinda. Sack Him Now!


IF DAVID CLARK hasn’t been sacked by the time you read this, then Jacinda isn’t doing her job. His point-blank refusal to accept responsibility for the multiple institutional failures of his Health portfolio more than justifies Clark’s dismissal.

Ministers of the Crown only have one job: to be responsible. As members of both the legislature and the executive they are a living bridge between citizen and state. A ministerial refusal to accept responsibility for failures occurring on his watch is also a refusal to uphold the essence of our Westminster-style representative democracy. If Jacinda doesn’t get this, then she should be given a swift tutorial by someone who does.

Jacinda needs to get rid of Clark for another, much less high-falutin – but no less politically compelling – reason. He was unforgivably disrespectful of Ashley Bloomfield – and Newshub’s cameraman, Billy Paine, captured Bloomfield’s reaction for the whole world to see.

That should not be a survivable offence.

Week-in, week-out, like Jacinda herself, Ashley has stood behind a lectern in the Beehive Theatrette and kept us not only informed, but also calm. Has he let the ball fall through his hands of late? Yes, he has. But, for Christ’s sake, the guy has been carrying half New Zealand on his shoulders (with Jacinda carrying the other half) for months. That he hasn’t been able to catch every single operational curve-ball, thrown at him by every delinquent player in the New Zealand health system, is forgivable – isn’t it?

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If anything is likely to provoke such forgiveness, then it must surely be the callous treatment meted out to him by the guy who thought the Level 4 rules were only there for the “Team of Five Million” to follow. The guy who went mountain-biking during Lockdown. The guy who took himself off to Dunedin instead of insisting that – as the responsible minister – he be allowed to stand at his boss’s side for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency. The guy who owned-up on nationwide television to being “a bit of an idiot”.

That guy doesn’t get to be mean to Ashley Bloomfield – and survive.

Surely, Jacinda, you see that? Surely you’re not guilty (as one outspoken right-wing gentleman suggested to me this morning) of having questioned, in the finest Machiavellian style, whether it might not be advisable, during the heroic phase of the Covid-19 war, to have Clark sequestered in Dunedin; bringing him back to Wellington only when all the inevitable blunders, committed by the exhausted employees of our understaffed and under-resourced health system, started coming to light? I told him firmly that you weren’t that sort of politician. Don’t you dare prove me wrong!

New Zealanders need to be shown, Jacinda, that you genuinely understand how pissed-off they are. It’s not just the sheer, mind-numbing dumbness of the mistakes that the people supposedly in charge have been making that’s got us yelling at the television. Underneath it all there’s the sneaking suspicion that, once again, we’ve been played for fools. Staying in our bubbles; washing our hands; socially distancing; coughing into our elbows: doing all the things we were told to do; while the people in charge, the people paid more than the prime minister, were fucking everything up.

If you want to remain prime minister, Jacinda, you have to give us some sign that you get all this. Because if you don’t, then we, the voters, might start joining a few dots. You know what I’m talking about. We might just recall the young woman who stood in front of us and asked us to join her in transforming New Zealand through the “politics of kindness”. The young woman of “relentless positivity” and “practical idealism”, who said: “Let’s do this!” – and, God help us, persuaded Winston Peters to give her the chance.

But then what happened, Jacinda? After we had given you our votes, what happened next? Were the promises of transformation fulfilled? Did the people charged with rolling out the changes give us anything that looked even remotely like genuine reform? Or, were the voters forced to endure one disappointment after another? Were the only tangible results produced by the general incompetence of your ministers the derisory snorts and disillusioned sighs from the electors they had let down?

Your government’s consistent failure to deliver might have been forgiven if it had led to a radical shake-up of the entire coalition. If you had gotten tough with Winston and his NZ First colleagues: warning them that if the expectations of the people who voted for the governing parties were not met, then you would simply jump in a government car and make the short trip from the Beehive to Government House. If the numbers aren’t there for real change, Jacinda, then the only right move is to go out and win yourself some new numbers!

Sadly, Jacinda, you haven’t followed that course. Instead, and exactly as happened in relation to the failure of our health services to deliver secure defences against the re-entry of the Covid-19 virus, incompetence and arrogance have gone unpunished. Just like his colleague, Phil Twyford – of KiwiBuild fame – David Clark juts out his chin and shamelessly apportions blame to everybody but himself. Even worse, he has turned viciously on Ashley Bloomfield, the nearest approximation to a competent, decent, humble and accountable public servant that this country possesses.

And still, Jacinda, you do nothing. New Zealand’s self-confessed “idiot” of a Health Minister is still in possession of his warrant.

Why? And for how much longer?


  1. Absolutely!, Even a strong Labour supporter like myself has had a guts full of Clark.
    Whilst he was good in opposition, he has been extremely poor in office. Whilst I do acknowledge he has probably done good work behind the scenes with his health portfolio, he has been extremely poor in front of the cameras and lacks personal responsibility.

    • Well said Bert. There is a lack of personnal responsibility from ministers on both sides of the fence. While it may seem harsh the buck stop at the person at the top added to the fact he was already on notice.

  2. I cannot fathom why Jacinda has endured his repeated incompetence, now followed by his stark arrogance. That he has not accepted ANY responsibility for failures in the quarantine process, and that Jacinda appears to accept this as satisfactory from one of her ministers, will lead to an inevitable erosion in public confidence of her leadership abilities.

  3. I couldn’t agree more, Chris, though back when ‘everyone’ was raving about how great Jacinda’s speeches were (you know, when she was seeking to become an MP) I did point out that words -like “We are going to get serious about climate change”- come easily and actions do not.

    Let’s face it, as I have pointed out several times, Jacinda’s training was in communication, not psychology; though she must have studied the psychology of communication at some stage. She’s got the words but not the actions most of the time.

    A decades ago I was alerted to the Dunning-Kruger Effect by a good friend who, at the time was a district councillor, and was doing battle with ‘idiots’ amongst the staff at NPDC -including the incompetent CEO, who was, of course, being paid mega-bucks for getting it wrong most of the time; however, she was able to direct ‘her staff’ (to use her term) to generate masses of we’re-doing-wonderfully-well propaganda; the corporate press were loathe to criticise her because that would be bad for business.

    In essence, the Dunning-Kruger effect is that a person who is incompetent but has acquired a position of ‘high standing’ believes in their own competence simply because they are in that high position. In simple terms “I must be great because look where I am!” (Trump may or may not be suffering from DKE; his outlandish behaviour could be the result of having far too much money given to him early in life or just severe mental illness.)

    ‘In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.[1]

    As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the bias results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”[1]’

    (Fascinating stuff but sadly most people can’t be bothered to read and become informed.)

    It is abundantly clear that Clark is incompetent and lacks the ethics required to be in a ministerial position. After all, his behaviour does not manifest as an occasional mistake (we all make mistakes) but as an exceptionalism, whereby he believes the rules don’t apply to him and when his numerous errors are detected he looks for excuses or someone else to blame. He is exceptionally untalented, and exceptionally stupid, and it has reached the point of his mere appearance on the television alerting us to the prospect of imminent hypocrisy and pathos. A kind of ‘Oh, here we go again, it’s the idiot on telly yet again’… a bit like my personal response to seeing Todd Muller appear on screen.
    That said, there are plenty of precedents for people who were utterly incompetent being in positions of authority or power.

    As you so succinctly point out, Chris, it’s a very dangerous position for Jacinda to allow Clark to continue as minister. After all, as bad as this government is, we can be sure that a government led by any other party would be far worse; that’s what we emerged from not so long ago.

    • Ever thought that its maybe Jacinder that has been promoted above her abilities, and thats why she fails to acknowledge what is happening

      • There’s little doubt she is way out of her depth when it comes to finance or scientific reality. But that would apply to 99% of MPs (and past PMs) if not 100 of them.

        Sadly, politics is rarely about proficiency to do the job and is almost entirely about the perceptions and misconceptions of the ignorant [voting] general public, who are, on the whole even less informed (mire disinformed) than MPs.

        Thus, all National have to do is say “Tax cuts” or “A better, brighter future” to persuade people to vote for them. They can then go on to introduce tax increases, user charges etc. and make things a whole lot worse, but as George Carlin noted: ‘Nobody notices. Nobody cares.”

  4. Labours drop in ratings will be almost completely caused by this idiot. He doesn’t deserve a job let alone minister of health. Throwing Dr Bloomfield under the bus after the superb job he has done is unforgivable and is another bad example of neoliberalism at work. Jacinda and Labour ratings would soar if he was deleted.

    • Bloomfield did NOT do a superb job, his underlings being so full of neglect letting people from different flights mingle in isolation. He is responsible for this.

  5. It would be so cool to see Winston sack the idiot. Don’t know if he can, but that would raise NZF ratings no end and would make good laugh.

  6. This in my view is a witch hunt, leave him ( Clarke) alone. As for NZ mainstream media some of you lot need to be sacked. I didn’t see this bullying and nonsense carrying on under sir john, what I did see was a lot of major arse kissing and it was sickening to say the least. As for Winstone sacking anyone, he needs to worry about himself its looking highly likely his party might be haere ra soon. And I see dalmation Shameless Jones is Maori bashing again this time over the Waikato rivers water allocation. It seems he is desperately trying to appeal/appease his Northland voters who he should know by now will vote national they always do.

    • Agree Michelle, according to the majority of recent media memes: “botched” “national disgrace” “fiascos” ”chaos” all piled on the govts management of Covid 19. National have many sycophants in the media who are doing a sterling job in helping National save some furniture. Getting the scalp of the health minister would be to them a major ‘hit’……..and hopefully swing a few more pale blue votes their way.

    • Agree Michelle.
      Chris’s rant appears to have swept others along asking for blood. Fools.
      I have listened carefully to the interviews on RNZ and what appears to have become headlines is the accusations of the interviewer not the examination of what was said. Another biased MSM blow towards Labour.

      “Your government’s consistent failure to deliver”
      quoted from Chris above also lacks any credibility. There is a long list of the COL achievements this term leaving anything dome by National in the past well behind when it comes to dealing with environment and the beginnings of decreasing the wealth gap.

      When Jacinda was campaigning before the last election she made many statement as to her aims.
      Fair enough.
      Now in coalition the MSM has those as promises.
      I cannot find any promises made by Jacinda for Labour let alone the coalition which didn’t exist then.
      Promises? Crazy talk.

      Lets get facts not hearsay and MSM constructions from inside NACT.

    • Totally agree Michelle. Why should our Prime Minister sink to the low and disgusting Natz behaviour? If she sacks Clark she will give them what they have been baying for and they will take that as a win. Chris you have been duped by the MSM. They are a pack of scoundrels that are mouthpieces for the Natz and should be treated like rabid dogs. Don’t get sucked into their clickbait propaganda, look into the REAL stories and do your own investigations into what really was said and happened. Clark may not have fronted for the media everyday but he was working for the good of this country behind the scenes. Stop this tall poppy syndrome, it makes NZ look like ‘stupid’. “Would you sue the doctor who saved your life because the nurse failed to change your dressing?” (to quote my son). Pull your head in Chris, this is unbecoming of you.

  7. The health portfolio has traditionally been one that loses ministers popularity. Labour was lucky for a long time to have had Annette King to fend off the National attacks. Although Clark seems to be a fundamentally unlikeable neoliberal who would be unelectable in the absence of Ardern, in terms of competence and responsibility in dealing with Covid there is no substance to the Gnat attack.
    The health system’s response to Covid, though imperfect, remains very credible. In the circumstances, Clark ought to be, like Bloomfield, more popular than God. Media training is indicated so that his reputation is made to more properly conform to his performance in his portfolio.

    • It’s not media training, it is ethics and self-awareness training he needs. However he has already trained in theology and philosophy and that doesn’t seem to have had any beneficial impact so further training would likely be a waste of time and energy.

      Like GreenBus said above, Labour’s drop in ratings are likely to mostly be caused by this half-wit’s actions. Ardern needs to be decisive and remove his ministerial warrant before he makes any more stuff-ups.

      • What nonsense. There was a communications stuff up in Health over the compassionate grounds change after the court case. Not his communications, and not his stuff up. And because it wasn’t his stuff up, it’s important that he learn to handle malicious media actors trying to create news out of whole cloth.

        • It is not nonsense at all when you consider he went bike riding, moved house, and took his family 20km for a trip to the beach when everyone else was in lockdown and told to stay home unless there were compelling reasons not to. He was / is the Health Minister who should’ve known better for God’s sake, not some junior public service functionary. Don’t try and defend the indefensible.

          • Epiphenomena – and he took a pay and seniority hit for it, unlike the despicable munter Bridges with his six hour drives.

            Find a new target for your wishful thinking – Clark is infinitely better than anything the opposition have to offer – admittedly a mighty low standard.

      • Labours drop in rating are more likely to be as a result of the media beat up and misinformation about who is responsible for errors in handling a new and difficult situation.
        Most of Labour and the coalition’s handing of Covid19 has been of world class and the envy of many countries.
        MSM will destroy any govt that is not NACT. Look who owns MSM. Its a political tool or the right wing and off shore international investor cabal when you trace the money back.

    • RNZ is becoming more like TVNZ and other commercial media in the selective way it handles stories. It’s international selectiveness is also worrying. I’ve given up on RNZ, after being a lifelong supporter. Over and out.

  8. Jacinda has the problem of replacement. I expect Clarke is quite intelligent in some ways but intensely self centred and arrogant. She might not have much choice of remotely competent alternatives. I could suggest a half dozen highly suitable candidates for this or many other portfolios from my own extended family but they are all busy raising families and keeping body and soul together. It’s a pity but politics doesn’t attract the people we would want in that position . In fact Jacinda might be the only one you would really want but she cant do it all.
    D J S

  9. Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” immediately comes to mind. This is nothing but a highly orchestrated National Party driven witch hunt. Years of neoliberalism have run all of our Social Institutions into underfunded, underperforming,barely surviving shadows of the strong systems that they were. Damned if I would want the job of trying to fix any of our now ingrained neolib Public Service within two/three years. Carry on David.

  10. I commented already on ministerial responsibility but perhaps we don’t adhere to that as much as in Westminster. I also commented that I thought Jenny Salesa, deputy Health Minister, would do a good job replacing Clark.

    However, I respect Michelle’s opinion. I think she’s right.

  11. Equally so National needs to sack Michael Woodhouse for his deliberate lying.

    But then if National, and quoting one of John Key’s pet words, is ‘comfortable’ with Woodhouse liying then that indicates National are okay with lying to the NZ Public/voters on a consistent basis.

    Still when it comes to National we are unlikely to ever see them do the credible thing and sack one of THEIR MPs even for deliberately lying and misleading the NZ public in order to gain political brownie points.

    Out of all this with COVID-19 I am most certainly glad we have a Labour Coalition government than a National dominated one. Because I am sure National would do a much, much, much worse job than the current Coalition government and the death toll would number into the hundreds.

    Lets remember John Key’s words to John Banks at Cuppagate in 2010 and that was “the older population is dying off so less votes for Winston…” If we had a National government still I am sure their attitude would be “the Lower Socio Economic and older population are dying off so less votes for Winston and now Jacinda and more chance to sell of land to the rich overseas purchasers in return for Instant Kiwi citizenship and donations galore to the NZ National Party.

    Sorry as can well be seen I don’t trust National one bit. They have let us down too many times in the past and seem incapable of admitting they make mistakes whilst proclaiming their “Holier than thou’ attitude.

  12. The PM had her chance to move the pillock on during Alert Level 4, and did not take it. He is part of Jacinda’s neo lib inner group, so he will most likely stay till the election unless there is community transmission.

  13. As a (retd) & widely-experienced/knowledgeable NZRN, IMO, Clark is only (if then) repeating what those in the ministry “advise” him. He is a Presbyterian Church minister for goodness sake! What professional basis does he have to be a “minister” of “health”?!!

    As a long-ago Prezzy, (until I was 35yrs old), such background “experience” is poor preparation for such a position in govt. as Minister of Health!

    He has earlier shown himself to be an “entitled”, uncaring, ignorant person to whom the societal burden COVID-19 has imposed on the rest of us does not apply one whit to him!

  14. Absolutely, Chris. I don’t watch television, rarely listen to radio, and get news and comment primarily from what I see and read online. I was appalled at Clark’s behaviour with Dr Bloomfield.

    Clark may be another example of the tiresome NZ gaucheness and lack of sophistication mentioned elsewhere, or he may be a creep, but he is proof that PM Ardern is merely playing with words when she claims to espouse the politics of kindness.

    I now know that Jacinda is PR in statement earrings. That mightn’t matter, except that she has sent another statement out to New Zealand saying that it is OK to treat people badly in public when it is not.

    The thing is that Clark could have conveyed the essence of his message without being personally offensive, but he seems to lack the social skills to do so. Anyone can have media training, and it’s useful, but social skills are acquired in a very different way as part of growing up, and whether they can be ‘taught’ outside of plays by G B Shaw, I very much doubt – there are certainly other socially obnoxious pricks besides Clark buzzing around the political circus – I think John Tamihere worse, Bennett lamentable.

    Dr Bloomfield looks a good man doing a good job in uniquely difficult circumstances; I won’t canonise him
    as I have my own views on the Health Dept, but I have nothing but respect for the way that he has handled the challenges of the pandemic. When I saw that Dave Clark was another med school drop out, I wondered if there was some personal element involved.

    If Clark was being a law unto himself while the rest of us were conscientiously obeying quarantine recommendations, then I think him staggeringly blind to what constitutes being a responsible member of society; that doesn’t surprise me from a politician either, but he was dumb enough to get caught and I’d fire him for that too.

    It is due to we, the people, me and my neighbours, that the pandemic has been contained in New Zealand, while her majesty’s opposition sobbed about money being more important than pain, suffering and dying, and tripped over their own contradictions like blustering playground bullies. Stuff the lot of them.

    Again I have no party – I’d look at going Winston, except that I support CGT and Peters has an aversion to it. Surprise. See how Mana shape up.

  15. Given Bloomfield’s positioning to clark, I’m deeply disappointed that Bloomfield didn’t give him a swift, old fashioned kick up the arse hole. Or slapped his glasses off. It’d a been great to get on-camera instead Billy Paine.
    clark, the wanker, should be sacked. I’ve had enough of nasty, snarky, lying politicians on our $ix figure$ plu$ entitlement$. There are enough of them in national already, lets not forget that?

  16. I’m also calling on Muller to sack Nick Smith. Smith’s appalling behaviour and language used around Nazism in and out of parliament cannot go unpunished with just a slap on the wrist. The man is a serial offender in parliament and is well passed his used by date!

    Let’s see how strong leadership is in the National party

        • bert – Well you have to feel sorry for him – if he wasn’t an MP there mightn’t be a lot else he could do. Grow pot ? The growing fields of Nelson are the only reason I can think of why people keep voting for him.

          He could become a professional dog walker -learn how to milk sheep or something. Uber driver.

          • Most likely the Paint Thinner Swiller’ brain has been coddled over the years.
            It’s time Nick Smith called it a day on politics because he looks and comes across as a trougher.
            Remember the time he took a bunch of journalists to a traffic island in Auckland to show them a potential housing estate.
            Why National never sacked him long ago for making THAT political party look like idiots galore is beyond me!!!!!???

  17. Well there is the expression you cant fix stupid and how true. To insist that Clark should be sacked is stupid. The border failures is an operational matter and the failure of the health department to implement Government policy and protocols. Good on the Minister to do his job and tell Bloomfield off for his and his departments failures.

    If the Minister failed to put adequate policies and protocols in place, yes then he failed, but he did put them in place, and it would have been on Bloomfield’s recommendation. Sad that Bloomfield failed himself and he can only blame himself. Would be a disaster if Covid is on the loose again as a result.

    PS and Clark did more for Health in New Zealand than any of his predecessors the past 15 years!

  18. Dear Jacinda
    Please please please don’t sack him!!!!!
    Signed: National Party Supporters Club

  19. I agree with Michelle the reason jacinda hasn’t sacked Clarke is maybe he has been doing his job
    The media have crucified him about his handling of Dr Bloomfield
    If everyone remembers Dr Bloomfield said it was his fault and apologised
    The biggest problem is everyone loves Dr Bloomfield and rightly so he’s done a great job
    If you also remember David Clark resigned during lock down and the prime minister said under normal circumstances she would sack him but she said she needed him to help sort health out and get on top of the pandemic
    She has also said that David Clark was a large part of the team in getting on top of Covid
    I think if she was going to sack him she would have done it by now
    One thing is for sure she doesn’t get bullied into decisions
    Our media have turned into huge fake news it’s happening every day and advertisers are starting to notice

  20. What would Helen Clark do should be ardern’s mantra about things like this, the amount of scalps Helen would have collected over the last term that jacinda has lathered instead of severed is crazy.

  21. OK they/jacinda do sack house drongo DAVID CLARK .
    If you imagine Labour is a superior alternative to the natz, you may be exultand. The trouble is I doubt flicking that fool will make a jot of difference to whether or not natz will get traction on their claim that the current government has screwed up the COVID program.
    That will be a function of the level of indoctrination kiwis have been subjected to over the last 5 decades of mostly natz rule.
    Here is a fine example of how effective that indoctrination has been in the US. I suggest you watch it as a fine piece of performance art as one is ever like to encounter, which entertains as well as elucidates.

    Amerikans have become thoroughly indoctrinated into not only believing tosh that will be personally destructive to them individually, they advocate it! Amazing & I doubt that there is that much difference here in Aotearoa where the herald tvnz 1zb plus fishwraps up and down the country push the natz barrow plus its associated fallacies endlessly to willing pakeha dropkicks.

    Why didn’t this government shut down tvnz & turn its public broadcasting function over to Radiio NZ?
    The tvnz executives are intractable recalcitrants who deceive the population without remorse and should have been flushed away to allow rnz using the net plus the TV broadcasting channels vacated by the by then no more tvnz, to keep kiwis informed.
    But no, this weak coagulation of neolib nonsense gave nothing to RNZ other than a de-knackering which will mean that come the next natz administration, freed of the hoary old shibboleths of so-called editorial independence Labour has been spouting, will make rnz adhere to the same rightist policies tvnz already does.

    How can any administration be that stupid? It has to be deliberate.

    • debisdead
      Look at the RNZ board, its CEO and Board chair.
      How did a publicly owned organisation get stacked with such a right wing NACT supporting bunch.

      That question has an answer behind closed doors.
      There is no outlet for news that is not compromised with misinformation.

  22. Arden could be working out what ‘being responsible looks like’ of course. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    To use an example in the news currently, some people wanted Peter Ellis put in jail until he died. Others thought he was innocent and certainly should not have been jailed. Depends on how you look at things.

    Some people like restorative justice methods thinking they are more productive in the long run . Others for the same person in the same situation want the maximum jail time in every circumstance.

    Some people want David Clark sacked from his job and probably, that he should resign as an MP. Hari-kari on the steps of Parliament would not be enough for some. Some people think Ardern should make up her own mind what to do according to what she wants to achieve and how she sees things.

    We live in a world of ‘optics.’ It matters not about the nitty gritty of what or how Clark does his job
    it’s about ‘optics,’ and the political effects. You do things because of what looks like.

    Everyone would have been partying yesterday and today I suppose if Clark had stood up the other day and said, “Whatever happened at the isolation and quarantine places that should not have happened it was my fault, I’m sorry. I mucked up” Hip hooray, he’s taken responsibility!

    What would the back story be? The DG stuffed up, the regional chief/chiefs stuffed up, frontline staff stuffed up, a clerk or clerks stuffed up? Clark stuffed up by employing them? What could or should Clark do about that? Sack the lot of them? In terms of frontline staff not performing efficiently how could Clark have controlled that?

    We’re a pretty fragile lot if all is right with the world because we hear someone say they’re sorry.

    Personally, I think Clark should have resigned for his first lockdown transgression regardless of whether it was at a tenuous stage of the Ministry and the coronavirus business. Some of the criticism was mindless. Apparently to do the job he had to be at his desk in Wellington. Virtually everyone else in the country could work from home with the help of modern technology but in Dunedin, a so-called leading city in that regard, he couldn’t.

    He should have resigned for being naive and plain dumb. His sense of responsibility was shown to be seriously awry. The concept of optics and the need to be more perfect than perfect and giving no grounds for concern seem to have been beyond him. The realisation that piranha, frenzied sharks and voracious big cats were out there, are out there, ready and waiting every second of every day was beyond him. (Clare Curran suffered from the same blindness.)

    Pierre (above) says Clark did more for Health in New Zealand than any of his predecessors the past 15 years. You can be the best ever but how well you do the job is secondary to optics, hysteria and the way politics is played. Major achievements and just doing well don’t draw daily or regular headlines, clickbait stories and social media. Sensation is what is wanted.

    • My observation has been that a fair amount of people expect politicians to operate in a particular adversarial way. Jacinda Arden does not fit that “optic”. The PM is the first leader since Norm Kirk that can communicate with a sense of values that is easy for people to associate with. Jacinda Ardern does not play the typical political game that says fire for “optics” sake. New Zealand is a better place because of that. But that is why the opposition try to frame her as a liar, running a chaotic, shambolic, incompetent and nationally disgraceful govt. Yeah right.

      The irony from the National party is overwhelming.

      • Not just expecting politicians to operate in adversarial modes. Life is for being a winner or a loser. Life is for criticising ‘losers’. Life is for needing to blame someone, for being so insecure we need to find and label someone as inferior to make ourselves feel better.

        Perspectives are based on and distorted by the blame and punishment mentality.

    • In the end the transgression was in allowing Ashley to take the blame. Theoretically they are responsible in sequence with Clarke at the top and Ashley B second in line. So Clarke has the overall responsibility and almost no control whatsoever. All he can do is influence the selection of head of health department and hope to select the best candidate. Ashley is next with a slightly closer to the action job and more positions to select for , but being able to prevent anyone of the multitude who have to perform from erring or transgressing, or taking a bribe is something no human being or autocracy has been able to achieve so far in the history of mankind. So Clarks failure was not to select someone more competent than Ashley Bloomfield . Well good luck with that!
      D J S

  23. Meh just another guy using your platform to pressure some woman to do what you think should be done.


    • Hahahahahahahahaha…SPC do you know who you are talking to here????
      You’re talkin to me? You..talkin…
      Folks, please help me put SPC in line!

    • I think SPC has just crawled out of the Standard echo chamber and is looking for attention beyond the dozen or so tribal occupants.

  24. Just because the rest of the MSM is having a hissy fit over Clark as health minister is no reason for Trotter to get on the band wagon. The results are that Covid was eliminated, we are back to level 1 & there is no community transmission. The 2 women who started the extreme media blood lust for Clark’s head after their compassionate release were supported by Bishop who if we are being charitable knew nothing about the women’s covid status. There has to be more to this story & the National party excess is the best indication that something is being hidden.
    It seems evident that the required safety steps were in place so why should the minister be held responsible when the workers fail to follow the rules?

    • Agreed Bonnie.
      Firing an MP because a mistake beyond his reasonable control further down the chain is NUTS

    • How do you know there is no community transmission? You have no proof with all the false negatives, the idiotic laissez faire management of ‘isolation’, we can expect an outbreak any time anywhere.

      • Agreed Mike.There is no guarantee but if the designed provisions are resourced and time given for training ( time we don’t have) then we can but hope cases that arise from within the community will be in small pocket and dealt to. Level one should remain for a long time.
        Meanwhile NZ should prepare for the next pandemic and not get caught again.

  25. Is he just one more brick in the wall? Maybe the wall should stand with him in it. The question that stands out above is – who would be put in his place? Maybe someone from the Greens could be hustled there after quick consultations? Give them a chance to cut their teeth on something, not meaty, but crisp and hopefully wholesome! Show their mettle, with some metal perhaps, walking the walk. Julie Anne Genter has health as well as about six other portfolios and Chloe Swarbrick has mental health.

  26. Ashley Bloomfield was dishing out propaganda, he must have known that their figures did not stack up, hence he was so reluctant to move to Levels 3, 2 and finally 1 so early. Minister Clark is an idiot, but do not protect Dr Bloomfield from criticism, mistakes were made from the start, and even the Police was learning by doing through Level 4. They did not even give reference numbers to complaints they invited for Level 4 breaches at the initial stages. So how could they ever follow up on complaints by not doing that? To pretend government ministers did not know is BS, as people informed them of what really went on. I have a dim view of Jacinda, as she is all talk and little action on many fronts.

    • All those people at all those jobs at all levels in unusual circumstances.

      The disaster we’ve ended up with with should see Ardern, Clark and Bloomfield resign. We could all go to bed at night knowing that had Simon Bridges been in charge with all those people at all those jobs at all levels in unusual circumstances there would have been perfection. The disaster would have been avoided and we’d all be in some state of nirvana.

      The particularly special cases in their ruminations will seethe that Ardern, all words and no action, had everyone locked down or up and had a couple of other things happen to support the community, the country. Sort of like, if you want to use the word, actions.

      The crazy obsessives will write books about events. There’ll be a chapter about Bloomfield fudging the numbers and how on May 18th he said there were 1117 cases and 49 probables but one on the probables list shouldn’t have been there, she should have been on the confirmed list.

      The chapters with the explanation about Clark, the idiot, not protecting Dr Bloomfield from criticism, will be fun. Bloomfield was ‘dishing out propaganda, he must have known that their figures did not stack up,’ yet Clark did not defend him?????????
      Moral of the story? We don’t know how lucky we are. The amount of stupidity exposed from the positions of (relative) comfort is astonishing.

      • Peter
        “The disaster we’ve ended up with with should see Ardern, Clark and Bloomfield resign. We could all go to bed at night knowing that had Simon Bridges been in charge with all those people at all those jobs at all levels in unusual circumstances there would have been perfection. The disaster would have been avoided and we’d all be in some state of nirvana.’

        You sense of humour is pretty dark and the sarcasm may not be detected.
        Try not to feed the idiots, but do keep up the humour

        • Yes John I was hoping it was sarcasm as well but it was well hidden. My observation was that anyone clever enough to write as many words as peter in a coherent manner was too smart to be a National voter so sarcasm must be the explanation.

      • Bridges would have done NO better. But you must be honest about stuff ups, not be partisan for bias’ sake.

  27. While he did stuff up during lockdown and isn’t that likeable, there is no evidence he is incompetent. The health system needs a complete overhaul which it appears he is onto. I say give him a break and let’s see what he does with health in term 2. The media are hysterical over this and are playing right into the hands of the National party. Chris, you continue to disappoint.

    • Chris has disappointed me too. David Clark may not be a perfect human being but who is? All these self righteous pricks wanting his head are just hyping it up for their party. Who amongst us have not been guilty of cocking up something in our lives? But we were not castigated for it. He has been trying to get the health system back on it’s feet after nine years of neglect, by the Natz, and is doing a very good job. It is a pity that this witch hunt is all the sheeple can focus on. Come on NZ we are better than this!!

  28. Anyone listening to the Badgering session put on by RNZ’s Lisa Owen would certainly appreciate the reason Jacinda has left Clark in his job. Lisa Owen should be the one resigning after her completely disrespectful Interrogation interview tactics. Sadly, this seems to be the “Business as Usual” approach by the Morning Report Team as well as Evening Report.
    Even when you cross over to the TVNZ wokies of Hillary & Jeremy it’s no better. I gues the leftover Natzi Bureacrats running the media talking heads from the back office think we need more FOX News style sensationalist fake news in our diets.. Could someone please remove these idiots, I think we could all use a good laugh about now instead of the perpetual whining, moaning & Badgering that been going on for well over a decade now in our MSM…

  29. From the Cambridge English Dictionary:

    albatross noun (PROBLEM)

    ‘something or someone you want to be free from because that thing or person is causing you problems’

  30. Ignorance abounds. What a load of braying rubbish. Minister Clark just said what Dr Bloomfield said. Read the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020 Renewal Notice 2020 as Chris Rennie points out: “When an Epidemic Notice is in force, the Minister (and Pm/Cabinet) have no role in quarantine. Cant see the issue here. Clark cant take responsibility”

  31. Your worst blog ever Chris. You and your supporters should leave level 4 and Parker’s mistakes behind. As your critics point out, you are trapped in the arguments of nasty media pundits and their Gnat allies. Shame on you.

    I join the refrain; we should be celebrating our victory over contamination in our communities.

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