So Ardern is becoming quite ok with lying to the public these days.
When we had the resurgence of the Covid-19 in the community, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, who is in charge of the MIQ system, revealed on TVNZ1 Breakfast that, in MIQ facilities, just two in five staff had been tested prior to the advent of mandatory testing on August 12.
Here is a statement made by Ardern when questioned on the lack of testing at the border.
“When we ask as a Cabinet for something to happen, we expect it to happen. So of course that has not met our expectations. No one of course said to any point – that I recall – that what we asked for was not happening,” Ardern said.
So Ardern went on record claiming that Cabinet asked for something to happen and that is that, no one told her or Cabinet that the testing wasn’t happening.
Of course that was enough for the press and the public, and Labour was free of all guilt.
However, documentation released by the Government post-election tells a different story.
“Cabinet was repeatedly told that the border testing was still being rolled out and was never given a date for completion. Cabinet was also provided specific numbers of tests of border-facing workers on a weekly basis.”
Hipkin’s said when asked by the media “One of the challenges in the initial phase was getting comprehensive data,”
So Labour ministers claimed that it was difficult to get data or know exactly what was happening because officials weren’t giving them proper data and info.
The problem is that the info was right there in front of them. Every update provided, had the caveat noted that “implementation was still occurring”
Bloomfield was accused of lying and he could only fight back by saying there was “dissonance” between Government and officials.
This dissonance was the Cabinet ministers pretending that that testing was happening at the levels it should have been when it clearly wasn’t.
The public was praised for the hard work it had done and that the border personnel who were at the front line of active cases coming in were being regularly checked and tested.
The reality was they weren’t and Labour knew they weren’t
Hipkins’ promised reports began to come in weekly, keeping Cabinet updated on the slow rollout of border testing. Even in the final document, provided to Cabinet the day before the second outbreak of Covid-19 was discovered, officials are clear that weekly testing of all staff had yet to be implemented.
Alongside the comments, Cabinet was provided with a breakdown of the number of workers in each cohort and the number who had been tested. Of the 2,000 MIQ staff, just 290 had been tested in the previous week. Of 5,000 Auckland Airport staff, 211 had received a test. At the ports, where 2,100 people were estimated to be eligible for testing, just 12 had been tested in the past seven days.
Yet, just a week later, Ardern told reporters: “No one of course said to any point – that I recall – that what we asked for was not happening.”
Clearly Ardern was being a stranger to the truth
What a shame we didn’t learn of this before the election