Health Minister David Clark says he will serve at the Prime Minister's discretion after his admission of flouting the Government-imposed coronavirus lockdown measures again.
Dr Clark told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning he was a fool and embarrassed he of all people broke the rules.
This morning, he confessed to taking a 20 kilometre drive to the beach with his family and driving his family to another walking track on a separate occasion. Both instances came after he was called out for driving over two kilometres to a mountain bike track last week.
Dr Clark said his wife questioned their beach trip but he made the call to go anyway. That was on the weekend after the lockdown took place.
"I've got the job of rebuilding the trust of New Zealanders," he told Breakfast, adding that the decision to stay as the Minister of Health was up to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"That's the Prime Minister's call. She has made it clear that there's a big challenge ahead and we need to maintain momentum on it. I'll serve at her discretion."
New Zealanders have missed funerals, being there for their newborn babies and other activities, and people were losing their jobs due to the lockdown. Given the revelation today, Breakfast host John Campbell asked Dr Clark if he was the man to lead us through this time.
"I can assure you that I will be absolutely focused on the job at hand, but I won't make any excuses for the thing that I've done. I got it wrong," Dr Clark said.
In a statement this morning, Ms Ardern said, "under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.
"But right now, my priority is our collective fight against Covid-19. We cannot afford massive disruption in the health sector or to our response. For that reason, and that reason alone, Dr Clark will maintain his role."