Source: Taxpayers Union
19 MARCH 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Ministry of Health has not been asking staff returning from overseas where they traveled, the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has learned.
An information response from the Director-General’s office confirms that “The Ministry has not actively recorded or captured personal travel of staff and Ministry staff have not been required to inform the Ministry of their plans when they take annual leave.”
As a result, the Ministry was unable to inform the Taxpayers’ Union whether any of its staff had traveled to or via China in the period leading up to 4 March.
The Union requested this information after receiving a tip-off that a staff member at the Ministry had recently returned from China and attended a social event with colleagues.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Requiring staff to report on their international movements costs nothing. It’s a basic precaution that countless businesses up and down New Zealand are taking.”
“We fund the Ministry of Health to provide leadership for the entire health system. If this is the example being set by our top health bureaucrats, how do they expect other employers to be prudent?”