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Chief Ombudsman 'livid' his staff mingled with new arrivals quarantining at Auckland hotel

The Chief Ombudsman says he’s “livid” his staff were put at risk of catching Covid-19 after they were able to mingle with new arrivals quarantining in an Auckland hotel a few weeks ago.

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Peter Boshier says staff had to isolate due to the Covid-19 risk because the facility wasn’t well organised. Source: 1 NEWS

Peter Boshier said this afternoon his staff had to be tested and isolated following a stay at an Auckland hotel before a scheduled inspection of a prison the next day. He said he didn’t know how long his staff were in isolation for.

“Without warning a whole lot of people came from overseas, placed into quarantine and there was mingling,” he said.

"Now that to me is a facility that wasn't well organised.”

He said staff could have been in close proximity to the overseas arrivals because of the way the hotel managed the arrivals.

“My staff did not know that those people were in that category. 

“I’m saying that should’ve been managed better than that.”

He said he told the Governance and Administration select committee today he was "livid" because the staff had to cancel the prison visit out of precaution.

“Then I had to take the preventative steps because of the possibility of infection. So it put me back weeks.”

He said he wouldn’t name the Auckland hotel. 

Mr Boshier’s comments today came as he announced he would begin inspecting New Zealand’s Covid-19 managed isolation and quarantine facilities housing international arrivals. 

"Among other things, inspectors will be looking at the policies in place to manage suspected cases of Covid-19,” Mr Boshier said.

It follows yesterday’s events which saw two new virus cases confirmed. They were two women who arrived into the country from the UK who authorities allowed out of quarantine to travel from Auckland to Wellington to attend a funeral.