December 06, 2022
Parata tapped for Covid-19 inquiry
The Government has tapped former National cabinet minister and career bureaucrat Hekia Parata to serve on a Royal Commission looking at the Covid-19 response.
The inquiry will be led by epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely, who is now based across the Tasman, and also includes former Treasury secretary John Whitehead
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says as well as looking at the Government’s response from 2020, the commission will attempt to draw lessons on what can be done to prepare for future pandemics,
She says the terms of reference include consideration of the interests of Maori in the context of a pandemic consistent with Tiriti o Waitangi relationships.
“We have specifically asked the review team to look at our response and the impact on Māori,” Ms Ardern says.
She says every country in the world has grappled with COVID-19 and there was no playbook for managing it.
The Royal Commission will begin considering evidence from February 1 and conclude in mid-2024.