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David Clark resigns from role as Health Minister

David Clark resigns from role as Health Minister

David Clark resigns from role as Health Minister

Health Minister David Clark has handed in his resignation, following multiple controversies around his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’ve always taken a view that the team must come first … so I’ve made the call that it’s best for me to step aside,” he announced this morning.

Clark said it has been a challenge for him handling the health portfolio and that he had become an unhelpful distraction in the fight against COVID-19.

“I have made the decision myself and I genuinely think now is the right time. It’s important we get the response right and I don’t want to be a distraction to that response.”

Clark’s announcement comes after increasing pressure from the public and opposition party for him to resign, which first began after he was revealed to have breached the lockdown rules twice. The first, a beach trip with his family and the second to go mountain biking.

Clark said he takes responsibility for his actions. “It has not all been smooth sailing, and I wish to put it on the record again I take full responsibility for the decisions made and taken during my time as minister of health.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern accepted his resignation, saying it is “essential our health leadership has the confidence of the New Zealand public.”

MP Chris Hipkins has been appointed the new Health Minister until the election.

“Our response to Covid is on a stable footing and I have full confidence that Minister Hipkins will oversee the portfolio with the thoroughness and diligence he brings to his other areas of responsibility,” said Ardern.

Clark will continue in his role as MP and says he will ask for voters’ support in the coming election.

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