Newsletter nine: The Give and Take Government
The government has GIVEN away taxpayer funds of $36 million for unpaid MIQ fees - because it had no workable system for payment.
Every hotel requires a credit card from people checking in. Arrivals who offered to pay were told this was not possible.
Instead the government required the hotel to send it invoices to be passed on to the arrivals- who then had 180 days to make payment???
Additional costs for debt collectors who are currently still chasing 1327 outstanding invoices.
In February 2021 the tender for saliva testing was GIVEN to the Asia Pacific Healthcare Group, rather than Rako Science, which had the only diagnostically validated saliva test.
The Auditor-General has since lambasted the Ministry of Health for this tender process. He feared there were conflicts of interest among 4 of the 5 panel members who chose APHG despite its lack of a validated test
Now the Government wants to wants to TAKE away Rako Science's saliva testing business and control it - by passing new law that would allow it to do just that.
Section 11(1)(d) and (e) of the Covid-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2) allows the Director- General of Minister of Health to require “…the owner of any person in charge of a specified laboratory that undertakes Covid-19 testing…to undertake Covid-19 testing solely for the purposes of the public health response to Covid-19…”
. Gaffes of the Week
To avoid facing possible protesters at Auckland airport on her recent visit, Jacinda had an Airforce plane fly to Wellington to take her to Whenuapai , return her to Wellington, and then fly back to Whenupai - so much for reducing carbon emissions.
James Shaw misread the Edinburgh COP26 schedule and arrived for the second week - when most world leaders had gone home and spoke to very small audiences.