NZ Minister demoted for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules

New Zealand’s Health Minister David Clark described himself as an ‘idiot’ for driving his family 12 miles to the Doctor’s Point beach during the initial days of lockdown. He has demoted for breaking the national lockdown rules. Mr. Clark admitted that he went for a mountain bike ride 2 km away from his Dunedin home and understand why people criticize him.

Mr. Clark offered his resignation to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for making two trips to his second home and felt guilty for violating the lockdown rules.

  • He said as a health minister – ‘It was my responsibility not only to follow the rules and regulations but must have tried to set an example to other citizens.’
  • In response to this, Ms. Ardern said – ‘No restrictions are imposed on New Zealanders to go outside to take fresh air and drive short distances in an emergency. But, strict action against the people who break the lockdown rules will be considered as a precautionary step to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacinda Ardern said he has not accepted Mr. Clark’s resignation because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis but has lost his additional role as assistant finance minister.

New Zealand’s lockdown rules came into force on March 26. The country extended its national emergency to the next four weeks and urged people to stick to the restrictions to control the spread of the virus.

Till now, 1,160 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Zealand, and one person has died, according to the most recent records.

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