Covid-19 level 3 breaches not deliberate - Robertson

From Checkpoint, 5:21 pm on 1 March 2021

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson told Checkpoint he believes case N (mother of Case M) in the Papatoetoe Covid-19 outbreak is not related to family 2, so they could not have been in a wider bubble.

Case M and a member of the second family went on walking together under alert level 3. Case N visited a gym soon after getting a Covid-19 test, while he had symptoms. 

Robertson said he does not believe case M & N's actions were defiant or ideological. He has not seen any evidence that they were deliberately ignoring rules and said they have been co-operative.

He said a number of recent examples of isolation breaches were a reminder for everyone to look out for each other.

"We've just got to make sure we're using that spirit that got us through to make sure we're not only supporting each other but holding each other to account."

In regards to case M, Kerry Logistics, where the person had part-time contract work, said they heard about the positive result through the media.

Robertson said the priority to communicate with relevant businesses was balanced with the importance of letting the public know as quickly as possible.

"You might recall earlier on in the first wave of this a couple of weeks ago, there was criticism where locations [of interest] weren't given while businesses were attempted to be contacted.

"So the criticism counts both ways - we're either too quick or too slow on it. My understanding is the Ministry of Health attempts to contact but then a certain point is reached where we need to get that information out."

Grant Robertson’s office said the reason Kerry Logistics is not a place of interest is because it is not a customer-facing role and the close contacts have been directly contacted.