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National MP's leak of Covid-19 patients' details has 'a ring of dirty politics to it' - Health Minister

Health Minister Chris Hipkins says Covid-19 patient details being leaked to the media by National MP Hamish Walker is "very disappointing" and has "a ring of dirty politics to it".

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The Health Minister said it was disappointing in the lead-up to the election. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Hipkins adressed media from Parliament this evening after Mr Walker and former National Party president Michelle Boag both admitted to being the source of the leaks in separate statements.

"Obviously there is an investigation underway at the moment and that will continue," Mr Hipkins said.

Despite the confessions, he says the investigation, headed by Michael Heron QC, will look at who had access to the information, why and if it was "handled appropriately at all times."

National MP and ex-National president admit leaking Covid-19 patient details

When asked if National Party leader Todd Muller should apologise for attacks made against the Government over the leaks Mr Hipkins said: "Perhaps he would like to reflect on comments he has made and if he applies them to members of his own members."

The comments come after Mr Walker, the MP for Clutha-Southland, says he did it to "expose the Government’s shortcomings so they would be rectified".

"It was never intended that the personal details would be made public, and they have not been, either by me or the persons I forwarded them to."

Mr Walker says he has received legal advice that he has not committed any criminal offence.

National leader Todd Muller says Mr Walker made an "error of judgement".

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National leader Todd Muller has his own shambles to deal with after a National MP and a former party president admitted being the sources of the Covid0-19 patients’ details, Maiki Sherman says. Source: 1 NEWS

"I have asked Hamish to acknowledge this to Michael Heron QC and cooperate fully with his inquiry into how the information made it into the public domain," Mr Muller said in a statement.

"I have expressed to Hamish my view that forwarding on this information was an error of judgement.

"While I wait for the result of the inquiry I have transferred his Forestry, Land Information and Associate Tourism portfolio responsibilities to Ian McKelvie."