Health Minister David Clark has revealed that he took a trip to the beach during the alert level 4 lockdown and has offered to resign.
Clark said he drove his family 20km from his house in Dunedin to Doctor’s Point Beach for a walk during the first weekend of the lockdown in breach of the rules.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said under normal conditions she would sack him but to avoid disruption she would be demoting him instead.
Clark said he provided the Prime Minister last night with a complete picture of his activity outside his home during alert level 4, as part of his preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee.
He said the trip to Doctor’s Point Beach was a clear breach of the lockdown principles of staying local and not driving long distances to reach recreation spots.
“As the Health Minister it’s my responsibly to not only follow the rules but set an example to other New Zealanders.
“At a time when we are asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices I’ve let the team down. I’ve been an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me.”
He said he had apologised to the prime minister for his lack of judgement and offered her his resignation.