David Seymour
ACT Leader

The Ministry of Health couldn’t order a pizza, let alone contract saliva testing, as new revelations surface that it is still trying to work out if its contracted saliva tests are reliable.

It’s time for the Government to finally get real, put the Ministry of Health in its place, and install a multi-agency, public and private sector Epidemic Response Unit that can transparently contract the right technology to respond to COVID.

It all goes back to David Clark. The cult of Ashley was created because the elected Minster of Health was so weak he might as well go mountain biking at the other end of the country. What’s followed is Ministry of Health hegemony that’s kept useful thinking and technologies at bay for too long.

As Stuff reported yesterday, leaked documents show that the Ministry still didn’t know if its tests contracted from Asia Pacific Health Group were accurate. It was still attempting to get enough samples to test the accuracy of the tests.

It’s breathtaking stuff. At least now we know why the Government was contracting saliva testing by the tens of thousands and delivering them by the dozen.

I asked Ashley Bloomfield if the contract with Asia Pacific Health Group was performing. At that time the Government had contracted 20,000 saliva tests per week and was performing a few dozen a month. He said it was performing.

The Ministry of Health’s standards are so long they should buy a submarine. We hate to think how that procurement would go. What would a non-performing contract be like?

Here’s a prediction, under Ardern’s leadership there will be no consequences for anyone responsible. Instead, under the COVID-19 Response Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No. 2), the Government is now giving itself the ability to confiscate testing resources that do work. Republic, meet banana.

Banana Republic. Image credit The BFD

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Government Talking Drivel on Saliva
David Seymour

David Seymour

David Seymour ACT Leader | MP for Epsom