Regional | Covid Response Strategies

Māori doctors do not want repeat of failure to consult them about Covid response strategies

Ministry of Health technical advisory group member Dr Matire Harwood says they were surprised and somewhat disappointed that they were not advised or consulted with by the government, prior to its announcement about the move from an elimination strategy to a suppression strategy.

"We realised that eventually, we were going to move to a suppression strategy," says Dr Harwood.

"We were more surprised that the decision was made so quickly.... and equally surprised that we weren't consulted prior to this announcement being made. So that made it difficult for us to communicate that strategy to the public."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last week announced the three-pronged roadmap for the new alert level 3 in Tāmaki, which allows for more freedoms for Aucklanders.

Dr Harwood expects that moving forward, they will be involved more in important decisions to better prepare for the new strategy.

"There is certainly hope that this won't happen again and that we were being consulted in the future if there are going to be any changes."