Tuesday, May 14, 2024

David Farrar: The conflicted Covid Chair

Kata MacNamara reports:

Details of Tony Blakely’s involvement in the New Zealand Government’s response to the pandemic raise serious questions about the work of the Covid-19 Royal Commission of Inquiry over which he presides.

It has long been clear that Blakely, a respected epidemiologist and professor at the University of Melbourne, has a network of colleagues who were key players in advising the New Zealand Government on its Covid policies and indeed who worked deep within the government response.

But the extent of Blakely’s personal involvement, including his friendships with these players and the advice he gave them, has only now been publicly disclosed. …

It seems pointless to carry on this work – either narrowly focused or otherwise – if there are questions over the impartiality of the inquiry chair.

Van Velden may yet ask Blakely to resign; she told the Herald: “The makeup of the inquiry commissioners, as well as scope of the inquiry are decisions that I am currently considering.”

Tony Blakely is an honourable guy, but is too conflicted to be seen independent enough to be Chair of the Royal Commission. I think he should be retained as a member, but the Minister should appoint a new Chair.

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in the Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.


Ross said...

He should have been removed from being Chairman and from the committee as soon as the new Government was sworn in. Everyone who was interested knew of these conflicts, way back then.

Blakely should not be anywhere near the review.

The Government and the Minister have been extremely weak on this and I will not hold my breath thinking anything will change now.

Anonymous said...

This Govt contains pretty well all who went along with the Covid charade. Would they really want an honest commission investigating?