Ashley Bloomfield has resigned as director general of health after four years in the job. He will leave in July.
In a statement to staff by email, Bloomfield says: “I’ve committed myself wholeheartedly to the role for nearly four years. The DG role is complex and challenging at any time and, with a one in 100 years pandemic, the last two years have been particularly challenging and intense.
“I’ve done everything I set out to do when I came into the role. I would not have been able to do this without the support of many highly committed and talented people in the ministry and across the wider health system.
“The wider public service has done an outstanding job in helping lead the country through the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s been a pleasure working with other public service leaders to help deliver the response.”
Bloomfield says that with the changing nature of the pandemic, as well as the changes to the health sector with fewer DHBs, “it’s a good time for me to step back and allow a new director-general to shape and lead the organisation in future”.
“I’m confident the health sector and the Covid-19 response are in good hands, that NZ will continue to deliver a world-class response to the pandemic, and those leading the health system will plan and deliver the full range of care that New Zealanders need following the Omicron outbreak.
“I’m looking forward to taking an extended break and spending time with family before deciding on what I will do next.
“Equally importantly, I’m still in the job for the next four months. We remain in the middle of a pandemic, we are assisting in the sector reorganisation and we’re continuing with our vaccine programmes in the lead up to winter – so we’ll continue the hard mahi for some time to come.”
Four days before Bloomfield (and two of his senior colleagues) resigned, Pfizer released documents saying natural immunity to covid was as good as its vaccine…