'I was incorrect' — Ashley Bloomfield admits he was wrong to accept invitation to NZ cricket match

Source: 1News

Ashley Bloomfield admits he should have refused an invitation to Sunday's New Zealand v Australia international in Wellington.

The Director-General of Health, who has led NZ's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, had previously indicated he went in a personal capacity.

He spoke with NZ Cricket chief executive David White while there, and was lobbied about the Black Caps getting Covid-19 vaccine doses.

He has since denied he made any promises.

Bloomfield put out a statement today, saying he was incorrect in previously stating he went to Wellington's Sky Stadium in a private capacity. 

"As I clarified earlier yesterday, I am in the role of the Director-General of Health every day," he said.

"I recognise that the invitation was extended to me because I am in that position. It is important that I avoid any potential for perception of a conflict of interest or personal benefit.

"I thought I was acting within the Public Service Commission Guidelines on Chief Executive Gifts, Benefits and Expenses guidelines.

"On re-reading the guidelines, I now accept that declaring the complimentary tickets to the game on a gift register was insufficient and that they should have been refused, as they will be from now on.

"I have clarified this with the Public Service Commissioner.

"I have donated the price of the tickets, and also the price of tickets to two Hurricanes games last year (also previously declared), to Wellington City Mission."

New Zealand has secured enough doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech for every person in the country.

Yesterday, the Government outlined the next stage of the rollout process.