Questions about the strength of government border control remain unanswered.Photo / Dean Purcell
Did you know that returnees will spend 14 days at MIQ after arriving in New Zealand? Or can Covid-19 be transmitted through air particles as well as droplets?
Labor Party member on parliamentary health
The Commission was clearly not fully aware of such issues and needed a 20-minute “stupid guide” presentation from Health and MBIE directors this week.
The next day, Chairman Trevor Mallard penalized his party and gave parliamentarian Chris Bishop four question-time supplementary questions, even though Mallard did not have jurisdiction over the special committee. It was such a crazy parade.
However, he has full discretion over supplementary questions when asking questions. In punishing the workers, he said the commission was not running “in the spirit of the last standing order report and the guarantees given.”
These guarantees were about the opposition’s ability to ask ministers and officials, and were the backbone behind the decision not to re-establish the Epidemic Response Commission.
The four extra questions were at least some comfort to the bishop who experienced various stages of distress throughout the presentation.
When Ashley Bloomfield explained the returnee inspection system, he tweeted with frustration.
He was holding his head while explaining the “end-to-end customer journey” to anyone flying to New Zealand.
“We provide information through our website,” said MIQ Deputy Chief Executive Officer Megan Main about helping them before they board the plane.
“We take them from the international airport to one of 32 facilities in five cities … they spend exactly 14 days, 370 hours with us.”
I at the Health Committee this morning pic.twitter.com/oqYBxKpH85
— Christopher Bishop (@cjsbishop) April 13, 2021
After the presentation, when Chairman and Labor lawmaker Liz Craig said, “It was really, really helpful,” it seemed that the bishop might spontaneously ignite.
She then asked officials to provide a summary, and MBIE CEO Carolyn Tremain said how MBIE “regularly” meets health and “exchanges information and shares experiences.” Enlightened the committee about.
When it was finally his turn, Bishop’s line of questions was split by worker Ginny Andersen, who first asked about the benefits of vaccination of border workers.
And when Bishop tried to resume the question, Craig declared it out of time and said the Commission had already agreed to the 20-minute presentation in the first place.
“I know that, but who do you think has a number of committees?” The resentful bishop argued.
Legal leader David Seymour begged the Commission to allow Bishop more questions, and Anderson declared, “Give him one.”
Eight months after it was signaled, after his question about the slow pace of phasing out MIQ security contractors, Bishop moved a motion to extend the session.
“No,” said Andersen. “It was only an hour.” Then Craig seemed to be instructed by Andersen and closed the session, so he was able to vote in a closed room.
The session was not extended.
This morning I moved to the Health Committee and spent another hour with senior officials asking more questions (such as border inspections). Labor blocked it. Then I moved the committee back for another hour next week. It is also blocked.
— Christopher Bishop (@cjsbishop) April 14, 2021
Government parliamentarians who ran out of committee time-and National was a master of this when they were in power-giving ministers and officials an easy ride is nothing new.
But the Commission is also a valuable opportunity to burn out officials on issues that are important to all MPs, not just the opposition, and nothing is more important than Covid’s response.
Bishop’s first question was that infected Grand Millennium guards (which need to be tested every other week) had not been tested for five months and MBIE was unaware of the number of MIQ workers who missed regular tests. I made it clear.
Covid Vassal Chris Hypkins finally discovered- About 60 MIQ worker.
However, that has only led to more unanswered questions, and there is a growing sense that the government’s testing system at the border is not perfect.
Why was an important testing system built on a system that relies on workers and employers to tell the truth? (Government Answer: There is no Covid rulebook.)
What checks were done to ensure that private employers were monitoring workers for swabs? (Some, maybe. We’re still investigating it.)
Are high-risk workers in the 15,000 strong border workforce (such as port engineers, one of whom tested positive in August) also off the government radar? Shouldn’t they also be in the border worker exam registration?
Does the register work properly?Hypkins I think so.. However, security guard employer First Security said the register had only raised a red flag on security guard inspections at the end of March, four months after the guards were last inspected.
These are all questions that the Commission could grill officials, which paves the way for improving Covid’s response and reduces the chances of losing a loved one or being forced into a blockade.
When Wednesday’s farce was played and dusted, the bishop naturally called for the re-establishment of a fashion committee.
The government objected, saying that the parliamentary process had been resumed and carried out, and that the opposition had ample opportunity to seek clarification from the government.
That’s true if the Commission’s Labor lawmakers have abandoned their cynical and undefendable tactics, resulting in poverty for all of us.
Covid 19 Coronavirus: Opinion-Labor’s undefended ironic behavior makes us all poorer
SourceCovid 19 Coronavirus: Opinion-Labor’s undefended ironic behavior makes us all poorer