April 08, 2020
Henare in wings for top health role
Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare is being touted as the next health minister.
Current minister David Clark offered to resign after admitting two major breaches of the lockdown rules, but the Prime Minister kept him on because she did not want a new minister coming to grips with the intricacies of the health sector in the middle of a pandemic.
New Zealand Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki says while he understands the logic of not changing jockeys mid-race, Mr Clark has two competent understudies.
“Peeni Henare is the Associate Minister of Health for Māori. You’ve also got Jenny Salesa from South Auckland who’s the Associate Minister for Health as well. Both of them are high performers in those portfolios and actually ironically given Peeni is also the Minister for Civil Defence, it might be prudent to have him in the role,” he says.
Matthew Tukaki says National Party leader Simon Bridges, who backed the Prime Minister’s decision to keep Mr Clark on, isn’t in a good position to comment because of his decision to drive from Tauranga to Wellington each week to chair the pandemic response oversight select committee rather than doing it by video conference.
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